…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…
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.