Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012 is the seventh day of summer. 87 days of summer remain. It is the day of the Monarch butterfly.

It could be the day of the Viceroy. I can't see the butterfly's wings
closely enough to see the differences. The Viceroy has an extra black
band on its hind wing. The Viceroy mimics the wings of the Monarch
butterfly, and birds are said to avoid the Viceroy because birds learn
Monarchs are bitter. It's more than that. Monarchs are poisonous. A
monarch butterfly contains cardiac glycosides from its day as a
catepillar munching milkweed leaves. The protection doesn't work as
well as one thinks. Birds chew on a few monarchs and consume the ones
that are less bitter and poisonous. As for the Viceroy, it's not a
sweet morsel, either. The Viceroy is even more bitter than the
Monarch. I love how nature stacks up the ironies.

I have an office with a window, and that window looks over a gap
between the office and the factory. The space is spread with
landscaping rocks, crushed marble. The space is enclosed by two walls,
a breezeway and a fence to keep out rabble and homeless people. A
variety of plants have found soil under the rocks, and milkweed,
queen's anne lace and goldenrod have seeded and thrived. This is my
fifth summer looking over this spontaneous garden, and I think the
gardener has mad

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