"Finding it where you are"
We were in the White Mountains recently to do some hiking. While there, I came across a poem, “Going to Walden” by Mary Oliver. In it, she considers the significance of making a visit to Walden Pond. The real trick for her is to go not to Walden, but to "finding it where you are". We had several great hikes that week, though I was disappointed I was unable to climb a particular summit. So I spent my last afternoon chasing insects with my camera. This summer I’d been after butterflies in the Hairstreak family. They are challenging because they flutter and feed so fast and land for such brief moments. But I got lucky here and found one that turned out to be cooperative. This small, delicate butterfly landed on a leaf and stayed there for quite some time. I squeezed through foliage to get a clear picture. The butterfly rubbed its wings together then stopped, rubbed wings, then stopped...
I saw the abdomen go down. My goodness I thought, this might be a female about to oviposit. The abdomen touched the leaf. I saw nothing until she moved very slightly. And, wow, there it was one very tiny egg. You can see it in the photo below: the egg is just under the left wing behind the abdomen.
I was breathless. Then she flew off. I wondered why only one egg? How many eggs would she have to deposit in order to ensure that even one adult butterfly would result? In the midst of these White Mountains, this beautiful meadow, this huge tangle of plant growth where a small butterfly landed on a leaf, I was exhilarated at what I found right where I was. And I marveled at this confident butterfly and the tiny hopeful egg she left behind.
The tiny white dot on the leaf is the egg. The butterfly was an Eastern Tailed Blue.
It belongs to the Lycaenidae Family of butterflies to which Hairstreaks also belong.
from your old friend, Carol VUchetich(non-registered)
Wow Linda. Isn't it amazing how the Mary Oliver idea enabled you to witness this miraculous event. That tiny egg is a great thing. By the way I love Mary Oliver. Thanks for sharing your ideas and photos.
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