The Fourth of July weekend is over with only spotty rain where I live—although we see it over there. Over there, someone is getting wet. I drive over to the Mogollon Box Campground on the Gila River where Western red bellied tiger beetles are skittering on the bank and hunting in the grass and sedge. After I collect ten of them, I pause before a bush of flowering white clover, the bush fairly winged with so many pollinators and so many different species. The monarch: bright-orange edged with black like the panes of a stained-glass window. The common buckeye: softly brown like deerskin, its dark eyespots ringed in yellow. The fluttering cabbage white: whose caterpillar was found to measure daylight using pigments in the blood, able to distinguish between fourteen hours and fourteen and a half. The fluttering checkered white. The fluttering clouded sulfur. The fluttering Western pygmy blue. The fluttering hairstreak.
And all the pairs of mating netwings, orange soft-bodied black-banded beetles with long black segmented antenna, scattered on the flowering bush like confetti or, on second look, like couples making-out at a high school party.
(And the sound of water flowing with no end. No stopping point, the river sound, water over rock, water and water and water without pause or interruption, all day, all night, all day, all night. Perhaps it’s the desert in me that finds this so stupefying.)
Photo by Elroy Limmer