Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Bonnie, Bonnie Bugs

I've had broom much on the brain of late. I have not been pondering its vicious invasive habits, or even taking the trouble to find out whether I am looking at the Scotch, or the Spanish, or at some other variety. There is just a good deal of it around here, so much so, that you can't help but notice it--so much so, indeed, that the perusal of a poem collection the other night turned up, at its first opened page something Stevenson was saying about bonnie broom. I don't know why broom absolutely must be bonnie, but the laws of poetry seem to dictate that you cannot mention that particular noun without that particular adjective. Do you think I exaggerate? Then possibly you never heard of the bonnie, bonnie (two of 'em! Count 'em!) broom of the Cowdenknowes? The poets do have a point, I'll admit. It is: At least it was growing along Sunrise Boulevard in a bonnie enough fashion to make me drive over to the American River Parkway on Sunday to see if I could get a decent picture of it. Well, to be honest, a good deal of the "bonnie" award goes to the big fried eggs of matilaja poppies that were growing among it, high on the bank, and I couldn't get anything like a picture that did the panorama justice:

Though the river was fair enough,

And so were the wild grapevines which seemed obligated to grow all over every inch of space that didn't already have something growing in it. . .and a few that did.

But the real pay-off, that more than made up for any disappointment over broom that insisted on being bonnie from a distance was this. Or rather these. There were herds of them:
And can you guess what this faboulous and fearsome beast is? It is the oh-so-thankfully flightless young of my old nemesis the Pipevine Swallowtail.
You didn't even have to look for the little fellows--they were everywhere. Well, yes, for starters, everywhere there was a handy pipevine, but also taking their evening strolls among other foliage, or even, in one case, across the road.
Fabre once complained: "The fashion is all for the Mollusc and the Zoophyte. The depths of the sea are explored with many drag-nets; the soil which we tread is consistently disregarded." Mind, I can't point any fingers when it comes to a fondness for the Mollusc, but there are certainly some wonderfully bizarre creatures quite close at hand.


Mahri said...

Those are really great pictures, thanks for that!

Amy said...

Hey Molly! That was a lovely post. You even managed to make the 'bonnie bug' loos sort of cute! :-)
I would like to award you the 'stylish blogger award.' You can collect it at www.amandadelallo.blogspot.com
...if you want it, that is!
God Bless.

Molly said...

Awww, shucks, Amy. I am honoured indeed! If I don't post the award here, 'tis not because I'm not terribly appreciative, because I am that--and thank you, thank you! I just have a dickens of a time with the question bits :-)