That bone-dry arroyo was working just fine for me. I’d found this dry creek bed on an earlier trip to White Tank Mountains Regional Park, just west of Phoenix. I have a vague recollection of a sign posted near the arroyo, something about not entering the arroyo ever, for a flash downpour miles away could prove deadly here. In retrospect, I might have honored the sign, but . . . hours of searching White Tank produced almost nothing. When I drove to a 3-car parking area, and happened on the arroyo, that earlier year, I descended down to its bed, and Bingo! Butterflies, not lots of them, but there were plants in bloom here and there, and I tried waiting at a plant with flowers, and almost every wait yielded, drew butterflies.
This one flew in to these diminutive blooms, and I knew at once, my first ever Queen butterfly. We don’t have them in the places I lived in before (Brooklyn, Queens NY, Long Island NY, Sheffield Mass or Pittsburgh). He was a dashing Queen and I decided on not gambling, not moving in with my Macro- lens, to get the full benefit of those magical 18″ from this large butterfly.
I planted my feet, loved that this was a tall wildflower, and I shot away. This image was captured with Fuji slide film and yes, his color was as rich as you see. That deep blue Arizona sky added to my delight when this slide was returned to me.
The wildflower? I still do not know its name. How do they flower despite many weeks of xeric dry 97F weather? I think they have very deep roots, and take moisture several feet down in the arroyo bed.
My first Queen.
9 thoughts on “My First Queen”
The butterfly is definitely worth the wait. I, however, have deep respect for flash flooding in arroyos having experience that in Colorado. You were lucky this time. And we reap the rewards. Gorgeous butterfly!
Thank you so much Mary Ann. Those types of signs somehow (?) bring out the little boy in us Big Boys!
Now . . . you cannot go without sharing your arroyo experience . . . . . . . . . .
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As a teen, I never understood bridge crossings over arroyos until after one of the heavy rains and a torrent of gushing water which killed a mother and her children in a car trying to cross over elsewhere. They happen with no apparent warning. I have great respect and therefore heed the warning.
That certainly gives me pause. What a stunning tragedy. Thank you for sharing.
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Always respect when you see a warning sign near arroyos. Those rains can be similar to monsoon rains with fast and heavy drops of water.
I’m guessing your wildflower might be desert lavender (Condea emoryi).
Perhaps the first, ever, wingedbeauty ‘Comment’ that made me laugh . . . “Zablowfan.” Will it be 2029 when ‘Zablowfan’ reveals his/her straight-up ID?
A stunning photo of one of God’s innumerable gifts to us. Thank you for sharing it.
Thank you Mary. When he flew in, I whispered. Please let him stay long enough for me to capture what you see here. He did. I smiled.
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