In Search of…

…traces of…signs of…autumn in Phoenix.

As we head into the equinox, it would be nice to see some lovely fall images like I see on other blogs…

But fall in Phoenix isn’t like most other places in North America…

In Phoenix,

Spring comes early,
Summer lasts forever,
Fall comes late,
And Winter doesn’t really happen.

Here it will be 107 on the equinox…yet we have cooler nights and mornings now, down into the upper 70s, lower 80s…and that brings the promise of sweatshirts, jackets, firepits, and the scent of mesquite in the air…

Here, it’s the quality of light that is the most distinctive measure of autumn and we have that.

Psst…wanna see something weird? You might have to take my word for this because I don’t have a very long telephoto and I couldn’t get real close.

See that butterfly on the pretty fairy duster? It looks like it has 2 heads!!!! So I googled it and it’s a hairstreak (not sure of the exact subspecies of hairstreak). They have “fake” heads on the backs of their wings in order to fool predators as their tails are expendable but, obviously, their heads are not.

At first, I thought it was two butterflies but I saw it flying and wondered if it was some mutant. But, no, I found other photos of hairstreaks. I’m so excited I got to see one and get some (crappy) photos.

Here are a couple of photos where you can see this strange (to me) phenomenon~1,2. It is referred to as “protective mimicry” here. Here’s another one I found on Flickr where you can distinctly see the “fake” head and antenna. Bizarre and fascinating, isn’t it? A whole new butterfly type for me.

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7 thoughts on “In Search of…

  1. I have to confess, I have forgotten what autumn was like in the Valley of the Sun (it has been so many years). But all year was beautiful, depending on where you were at the moment, and I remember my favorite night there was Halloween, when I got to go out through our neighborhood with the kids and enjoy the visits with the parents.

  2. that is amazing about the butterfly! I love those seedheads on the grasses — so soft and beautiful. Looks like they’re swaying in the breeze. (for some reason it doesn’t take you to my correct WordPress account … I’m the one at http://www.dianeschuller.com/blog just so you know who I am when you click my name and it goes nowhere! 🙂

  3. An interesting series. The touch of fall is arriving everywhere I suppose. We are having cool (40°) nights and near 90° in the middle of the afternoon. The trees are showing some turning leaves while some bushes are totally red.

  4. Hi Candace,
    Your Autumn isn’t quite as colorful as ours…..but, then you won’t have months of the colorless white stuff like us either! The image of the grass is a gem! Love that one.
    Interesting butterfly. Nature is always full of wonder!
    Have a happy week.

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