Re: time slipping away: it’s still funny.
The song that would have been playing is Bon Iver’s 22 (Over S∞n) and the night would have been in summer 2015, or maybe 2016. A Grumpy Old Man would have seen me eating cheese at the counter on a beautiful evening, and would have come and stood next to me to also, companionably and competitively, eat cheese. He listened to the news on earphones, and I listened to this song. The lyrics had some significance I recognized, even then. Even then. The news seemed less important.
This has been a bad year for butterflies, did I mention? But insects are this summer’s taxonomic Class of interest and I would like to share with you that insects have a remarkable ability to rebound. They have evolved to take advantage of good conditions and to survive bad ones, even in very small numbers. They can re-populate at a speed that puts our most prolific ancestors to shame. So the overall insect situation is not great, is maybe even alarming. But lower numbers early in the season, especially in this bizarre season, are not necessarily so dire.
I have been seeing signs of hope. Today, sitting in my yard that is now all lush and flowery and ephemeral, I saw a Red Spotted Purple and an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. Those are big graceful butterflies and leave even the uninterested person satisfied with their butterfly viewing experience. I saw a number of Eastern Tailed Blues, and endless Cabbage Whites (they’re not moths) which I am happy enough to share space with now that my kale is all eaten (some by them and some by me). They can pollinate my cucumbers without threatening the rest of my meals. And most exciting of all, as I sat not 4 feet away, a female Ruby Throated Hummingbird came zooming in from afar and made a beeline for the Bee Balm that has been blooming for a week. She took a look at me but kept eating. Bee Balm is my favorite hummingbird feeder, 5 stars.
Here is to the rebounds, even those we know better than to hope for.
No photo of the Hummingbird, but here is the Bee Balm a little earlier into its blooming. And Mountain Mint next door, another native pollinator magnet. Two days ago I saw a Horace’s Duskywing on it, another backyard first!
Caterpillars are easier to photograph than butterflies, and I have never found so many before! As far as the adults I hope you’ll take my word for it that they’re showing up out there, and maybe we’ll continue to see more.