There were thousands of these flowerheads that day in August 2014. I returned to Doak Field, morning after morning. I was anxious to see who I’d find there. I also enjoyed being in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and the irony that only one person was there to savor the color, aroma and peace of that place.
Winged beauties made sure that I was not alone. Butterflies, moths, bees, flies and ruby throated hummingbirds flew in good numbers. Wasps silently patrolled for unsuspecting victims. Praying mantises kept their statuesque guard, and spiders hid to await their meals.
The mystery that I’ve observed countless times remains so. Why do the nectar seeking butterflies appear together, sip for about 15 minutes, then all, all disappear. Jeff waits, and then a new squadron of butterflies, different species represented, fly in and consume, until they too silently leave, and this pattern repeats, until about 11:15 A.M., when all leave again . . . and the Bergamot siren is turned off, with no visitors, none. ?.
I’ve enjoyed this field since 1997. This was the most extravagant blanket of Bergamot I’ve ever seen there. Ah, if Renoir had only been there, easel aready . . . .