|Bow napping indoors yesterday|
A friend phoned yesterday, and while we were chatting, he asked me, almost at random: "When chimpanzees are asleep, do they sleep with their toes stretched out or curled in?" I answered at once: "Curled in." But this was not because I actually knew the answer. It's because all I had to do was glance over at Bow where he was napping, and I could see what he was doing. This is not a scientific random statistical sampling, and it may not be true of every chimpanzee, but it is of Bow.
Sometimes Bow wants to know what I have been up to while I take my walks, or when I am away, and I show him videos. Yesterday afternoon, I showed him quite a few of them, many of them from Orchard House, until he was satisfied. Then he went to lie down on his blanket, yawned and started napping.
|A damaged anglewing butterfly in my backyard, surrounded by well meaning dogs|
You cannot take a nap unless you feel comfortable and safe. And I think this kind of relative safety is what even the butterflies experience on my property. After I returned from my trip last weekend, I encountered an injured anglewing butterfly. Some people call this type a tree bark butterfly, because when the wings are folded that is what it looks like: tree bark. But in fact, the Latin name of all these anglewing butterflies is polygonia, because of the polygons that their wings are shaped into. And the English name is usually after a punctuation mark. But I am not absolutely sure if this one is supposed to be a comma or a question mark.
The remarkable thing about this butterfly in my backyard is that it was able to rest on the ground, while the dogs walked past, and nobody bothered it. It felt that safe.
|Two Monarchs embrace|
Now, I wish that the Monarch butterflies felt this comfortable around me. I have to admit that they still do not. But we have made progress. Yesterday, I saw two of them embracing just on the other side of my fence. They chose to do this not on my property, but so very close to the border that I could see them clearly while standing on my own land!
There was also a pearl crescent feeding on a flower on my side of the fence. When the pearl crescent flew past them, that is when the two Monarchs came apart, and the female flew off first.
|Startled by a Pearl Crescent, the two Monarchs move apart|
The male was left alone for a moment, and then he flew off, too.
|The male is the last to fly off|
After they flew away, they came flying back.
|Flying past again|
First one, and then the other appeared, going in the opposite direction from where they had fled to.
Now these are not my Monarchs. They were in the neighbors's field. But it was so close! I have never been this close to a Monarch before, let alone, two.