Monsoon Butterfly invasion

..the joys of rain

Drawing to the end of August 2021 and southern Arizona has experienced a magnificent Monsoon. Rainfall has exceed our annual rainfall in just one month. At the end of July, after 18 months of almost no rain, the desert had dried and the natural world seemed dead. We braced for a repeat performance of last year with summer temperatures over 100F for over 100 days. But then the rains came. Almost over night the desert greened, cactus bloomed and the wonderful smell of the creosote bush engulfed the humid atmosphere. A while later butterflies of all description appeared. This, the Queen, is often confused with the Monarch butterfly and indeed it is similar, even enjoying milkweed to lay its eggs. This particular butterfly found a safe place to perch on my bird fountain. The calcified edge created enough texture for it’s legs to grasp the edge and sip at the damp surface of the pot.

Inner Light

There’s exquisite beauty in agaves that are giving way to their off-spring

There’s something fascinating about how cactus age. For this agave, its ability to sustain upright leaves is fading. The cat’s claw imprints that outer leaves emboss on inner leaves have started to fade. The base of the leaves start to crumple but glow with rich colors of pinks and gold. young plants “pup” from the parent and pop up several feet away.

Water color, 9″ x 12″. Cold pressed Arches paper