October 14, 2013

A great convocation of butterflies at The Stockpond mud, on a day the most full so far of these delicate wings … Sulphurs mostly, including many of the large, lemon and bright green Cloudless Sulphur, and the lemony Mexican Yellow Butterfly in dogface pattern, both probably wandering up from Mexico, and doubtless other species of that group are there but too confusing or too far out in the treacherous mud to identify. Snout Butterfly numbers are also on the increase–they must be migrating, too.

A Cooper’s Hawk snatches an on-the-wing Chipping Sparrow that had come to drink with the butterflies; the Wilson’s Snipe I find later out on the edge of The Cienega in #1 Pasture must’ve figured out The Stockpond is too dangerous for it at the moment, and has taken to crouching among deep grass tussocks scattered in that open water.

One of those maturing Vermillion Flycatcher males with patterns so clean and different from the typical adult spends the day on a fencewire. It brings to mind a Trogon, but in miniature. I have several times found ones colored just like this spend the whole winter in places nearby.

Day’s end I straggle up Firesky Ridge to the house, a bit worn by work but brought full back to life by the joy of Three-Quarter-Moon, hung there on the indigo and below her a streaming, sky-wide fringe of flaming mare’s tails, rising high to Moon from the canyons of the Mae West Peaks shadowed Where the Deep Purple Falls.