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the various and sundry creations of sylvus tarn
Red Admiral
Or, I have discovered what dandelions are good for!

Our yards—front and back—are currently fields of dandelions. Though we do not live in a suburb, in which smooth green grass is absolutely de riguer, still many people do keep their lawns to that standard, and I'm sure they look upon our weed patch with dismay. (To be just, I look upon their use of herbicides with equal dismay).

I do dig the dandelions out, but they've gotten out of hand, during the last couple of years, since the accident. The wizard was going to mow this weekend, but didn't manage it.

And today, I had cause to be grateful:

Red admiral butterfly, Vanessa atalanta). Shoulda used a greater DOF (depth of field). Alas, there was only this one non-skittish specimen, and even it eventually flew away from the shutter click.

When I stepped out onto the deck, clouds of these butterflies rose from the yard, where they were basking, resting, but mostly, sucking down nectar from the numerous dandelions. By which, I mean 15 or 20 or them (butterflies, not dandelions. I'm not admitting in public how many of those I have;). I had never seen so many at once. Now granted, a real lepidopterist probably wouldn't consider anything under several hundred a ‘cloud’.

But for me, to see so many was magical.