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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 1, March 2019
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Roger Jones
New Braunfels, Texas, USA


Butterfly Ranching

Mid-summer, and the American snout butterflies are passing through on regular migration. This year, because of drought, the yellow jackets are missing; the snouts have the run of things. In summer’s record heat, huge numbers of them hang out in trees, hackberries their favorites. Early afternoons, I step outside, turn on a hose, and adjust the nozzle so I can spread a light coat of water all over blistering hot dust and dying lawn grass. As if shaken out of limbs and leaves, butterflies cascade down immediately. I find myself surrounded as they descend, as in a singular cloud, from trees to wet hot-scented earth, all fluttering and motion, as if by design.

bright sunlight on the barn wall
I lean a shovel
against its thin shadow

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