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Poem inspired by Limestone Canyon Open Access Day

February 10, 2012

Rush Hour in Limestone Canyon
Feb. 4, 2012

Instead of tallying
up miles today
I plant myself where

jet trails and hours
dissolve in the warm
February light

that melts worry,
ignites trumpets
of fuchsia-flowered gooseberries.

Tiny fiddleneck
petals blink
a yellow warning

along the overgrown
green-track road:
watch out, wanderer—

you are about to be
flattened by a jolt
of electric blue

hairstreak butterfly . . .
almost a head-on collision
and you bless

the source of azure
zig-zagging
un-craziness.

Out sitting instead of hiking, I was startled by the blue and black flashing of a butterfly coming out of the oak shadows; a little research when I got home revealed it to be a Great Purple Hairstreak Butterfly (Altides halesus)–not a rare butterfly, but one rarely seen by people in the wild. When it lighted on the ground, it disappeared into the grass and dirt, nothing more than a non-descript black blob. When it took off–wow! Such irridescenct blue inner wings! There’s no way I was going to be able to capture it in a photo, so I focused some words instead.

Tiny fiddleneck petals

Fuchsia flowered gooseberry

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