DUNCANVILLE, TEXAS — Cedar Ridge Preserve is closed on Mondays, so this afternoon I visited the nearby Cedar Mountain Preserve, immediately south of Cedar Hill State Park on 1382. (Don’t let all those “cedars” confuse you.)
A White-eyed Vireo sang a long, complex jumble of a song, quite unlike his usual punctuated phrases and tending more toward catbird. Yellow-rumped Warblers, gnatcatchers, and cardinals flitted and called.
But it was the butterflies, not the birds, that were outstanding this afternoon. I found a shaggy-barked oak where they were swarming.
What emperor hackberries lack in brilliant colors, they make up in personality. After being smacked repeatedly in the face and body by these excitable insects, I decided that they are either blind, socially dysfunctional, or homicidal.
This spiny creature will, if it survives, grow up to be a question mark butterfly (Polygonia interrogationis)…
…and may look a lot like this. There are more butterflies and other life forms in the gallery.
Even the poison ivy looks nice this time of year. But please enjoy responsibly. “I can’t help it … it’s so beautiful–”