Our wildflower meadow is a miniature one this time of year, with henbit, bluet and my favorite,
Johnny-jump-up, scattered among the dormant grass.
I wasn't just there to see the flowers. I'd been lured by an elusive butterfly. On a walk in the woods last week, I saw a male Falcate Orangetip for the first time. Flying at eye level a few yards ahead of me, he stayed over the path like a mechanical rabbit, and I had to pick up my pace to keep up with him. He was small and white with one bright tangerine spot on each wing. The female lacks the orange spot, but both of them have a delicate pattern on the underside of their hind wings. When a female appeared in the brush at the side of the trail, the Orangetip male abandoned me, and it was only then I noticed the single stemmed rose he was carrying.
I saw their cousins in western Ozark County, about 8 miles from here, and also in our meadow, which is the main reason I was there, with my camera of course. But photographing them has been a challenge. They would speed by, flying erratically, like a house fly on steroids. When I finally saw one alight, it was momentary, on the delicate violet, Johnny-jump-up.
There's a state park in Connecticut called West Rock where people gather every year to see these butterflies. I can understand why they go to view such a sight, but now I can say with certainty, they ain't got nuthin' in Connecticut that we don't have right here in Ozark County, Missouri.