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So beautiful...

My office seems to be on the migration path of thousands of tiny Monarch butterflies. Each one of these creatures is an inch wide, some smaller. Their wings are gold and brown edged with black, but dusty grey-brown when closed. They land on the sidewalks, in the lawn, in the trees.

Behind the office, past dense clumps of rosemary, still wearing its purple-pink blossoms and filling the air with the smell of an Italian kitchen, trees still showing their summer green are thick with red berries, clinging closely to their branches in heavy clusters, as if the trees are wrapping themselves in red to keep warm for the coming winter. Like a warm red sweater over their twiggy limbs.

On one row of trees, hundreds and hundreds of these diminuative monarchs are swarming in a cloud around red-berry branches. The dusky pale of their underwings sparkles like champagne bubbles around the trees, dazzling the eye, too many to track. Around the black asphalt of the parking lot they drift in twos and threes, but around these trees, they celebrate in throngs too quick to count.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
eris_star
Nov. 10th, 2006 09:34 pm (UTC)
Not to nitpick...
but if they look like this, then they're actually gulf fritillary butterflies. We have them swarming around the crepe myrtle in the front yard. They're beautiful.
spottylogic
Nov. 10th, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Re: Not to nitpick...
Maybe? The tops are a very similer color, but their undersides are dusty brown, not colorful. I think they may be some sort of moth, because they tend to sit with their wings closed, not open. Not sure, tho. Am no entomolgist.
eris_star
Nov. 10th, 2006 10:27 pm (UTC)
Re: Not to nitpick...
This site and this one have information on butterflies and moths for Travis county. The former site includes moths and pictures (but no time-of-year information). The second one includes time-of-year, but not moths, and you have to Google the pictures. We have lots of pretty flying critters.
itza
Nov. 11th, 2006 01:00 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing that description, sound so lyrical and breath-taking! :D
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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