I'm still feeling remarkably like warmed-over death on a biscuit, and I've been sick long enough to contract a bad case of cabin fever.
We were having extraordinarily beautiful weather this weekend, and being stuck inside was just killing me. So around three in the afternoon, Robb and I took a little drive out to Alameda, where we checked on a very elusive letterbox of mine (alive and well) and bought a bottle of Absinthe (to be consumed at a later date).
We then headed out to one of the local parks we refer to as We've Brought You Here to Kill You State Park. You know the place, I'm sure. The almost-empty parking lot is littered with glass from smashed car windows and liquor bottles. There's not a soul in sight. And it doesn't look like anyone has stopped by to do maintenance in several years. These parks are often amazing hot-spots for nature-watching, because of their neglect.
I had been hoping to see hummingbirds, because the first time we went there, we saw more hummingbirds than we had ever seen in one place. Sadly, some local dudes had figured out that the electrical hook-ups were still "live" and had erected a tent, set up lawn chairs and were in the midst of a full-throttle jam-session. Pretty odd, really, too see a complete drum kit in the middle of an otherwise empty park. I think the hummingbirds had stuffed their wing-tips in their ears and had flown off until the noise subsided. (I knew we were in trouble when, prior to playing a note, these middle-aged guys were bellowing "RAWK N ROLL" at the tops of their lungs. Eesh.)
I hardly saw any birds at all, but did notice that one corner of the park was alive with butterflies. I was very surprised to see completely different species chasing each other around.
Of course (and here, I smack my forehead in exasperation), I wanted to travel light, and only brought along my "long" lens. On the drive out, Robb and I had been joking about having him hold a flower up, ten feet away from me and the camera. And wouldn't you know it, once I waited for any of the butterflies to settle down, I was able to approach them closer than my lens actually liked. So, there I was, feeling sick and sweaty, crawling around in the grass, trying to find the perfect distance from which to photograph butterflies.
Even if filtered through the fog of a spring cold, there are few things more magical than standing in the middle of a swirl of butterflies.