Question Marks

Polygonia interrogationis , the Question Mark butterfly. The wings need to be closed to see the mark in question. I think it’s more of a semi-colon. The similar Comma (Polygonia comma) has the “comma” mark but not the dot. Mud-puddling. Everyone does it, but butterflies are so conspicuous they get noticed doing it. Insects need their vital salts and nutrients as much as other lifeforms, so they suck it up from damp patches, mud puddles, and, I just learned this week, from places naturalists-in-the-know pee. Carrion is another source: very magic realist this, a flutter of butterflies on meat. This one is hoovering up the stuff — moisture, salts? — from this leaf.

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