Now that the rain has stopped, I spotted my first Mourning Cloak of the year on Mt. Battie this morning. This common butterfly was so-named for its purple-brown wings bordered with yellow, as if someone were wearing a dark cloak over a bright dress. But despite the somber name, it’s a potent symbol of spring’s bright renascence. Unlike almost all other butterflies in Maine, the Mourning Cloak overwinters here. When it comes out of hibernation, it feeds on tree sap, visiting sap wells made by sapsuckers. Last spring I saw my first Mourning Cloak of the season in the very same sunny spot near the summit.
steep mountain path
on the way down