It’s about the cabbage white butterflies. They go crazy in mid-September. Numbering in the thousands, they come bouncing haphazardly through the bluebird sky. By late afternoon, the butterflies have gone completely daft.
Yesterday, driving across the North Valley on my way home, I encountered hordes of butterflies tumbling across the highway from the surrounding alfalfa fields. They were blind with brainstem instinct. Singular in focus, maybe drunk on sunlight, the cabbage white butterflies encountered their own slaughter on the highways. I cannot tell you how many dead butterflies littered the highway or how many surfed into the grill of my truck.
Theirs is a quiet desperation. Living as an adult for no more than three weeks, but able to reproduce after only two days, they have much to do in the waning days of our summer.
Here the come—flapping toward the next generation or fluttering toward a grim end on the long highway.