. . .and of all things, finally got the chance I have been waiting for (and not expecting in February); a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)!
I believe some have deemed the Painted Lady a territorial insect (its cousin the Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) is a notoriously fierce creature. . .well, as butterflies go) . At any rate, when I was distracted from the Joshua tree by butterflies. . .there were butterflies. Two of them. For all I really know, it could have been a prospective mating pair trying to impress each other, but they were acting more than coy; they were acting like the Red Admirals I used to watch up at Burnaby Mountain Park. One would fly over an invisible line, the other would come sweeping up to it, looking indignant, and the two would whirl around each other, darting dangerously closer at intervals until the interloper (if interloper it was) had enough. The victor then settled down to enjoy the sun.