Welcome to Tuesday Tales!!
Marshall clicked the zoom button on the screen and the Bigfoot cast enlarged in front of him. Why would someone steal the original? His phone beeped from where he’d tossed it. Jaiden. He smiled and tapped the answer button. As her voice greeted him. His smile grew even bigger. Hilde would say he was falling in love, but falling love took time. Months, years, even; not days. But he had to admit Jaiden was someone to write home about.
“Since the sun is finally shining I wanted to head out to the woods and search for the butterfly. Would you like to come?”
Marshall snapped the window of his purchase closed and stood. “Yeah. Sounds great. Meet you at the trail head?”
They agreed to meet at the trailhead in half an hour. Marshall was so excited he almost ran out of his home office and straight to his vehicle without changing his clothes, putting on his hiking boots, or prepping in any way for a hike on a trail.
He jogged across the hall to his bedroom. Once there, he changed into lightweight pants and a long sleeve technical shirt infused with mosquito repellent. He tied on his hiking books, then returned to his office for his camera bag.
He pulled into the small parking lot at the trail head to see Jaiden waiting beside her car. She wore running shorts, knee high socks, and a windbreaker. Over her shoulder was slung a bulky camera bag similar to his own. He parked beside her and exited his SUV with his camera bag and baseball cap.
“It’s good to see the sun again, isn’t it?” he said as he looped the strap of his bag over his head.
“It’s wonderful. I haven’t been out here since I hurt my ankle. It will be great to be out in nature again.”
“How is your ankle?”
“Not too bad. It feels a little weak at time, so I put on my hiking boots today instead of my running shoes.”
“Which way do you want to go?” Marshall gestured the two trail heads that met at the parking lot.
“Let’s go north. It’s closer to Pam’s property.”
Jaiden started toward the trail, but stopped and swiveled on her heel. “Forgot my hat. The deerflies will be atrocious.”
A moment later with a pink baseball cap on her head, Jaiden lead him along the path. As they walked they talked about the various vegetation and traded stories about run-ins with poison ivy and oak.
“Last time I had poison ivy, the rash was so bad I had to get steroid shots,” Marshall said.
“That explains the long pants. It must be ninety out today.”
They came to a small clearing in the trees. A large oak shaded most of the area and oak seedlings populated the fringes of the open area.
“This would be a good place to look for the Karner Blue,” Jaiden said, unclasping the top of her bag and extracting her camera.
“What should I look for?” Marshall asked.
“Blue wings around an inch to two inches long. Larva and caterpillars might be on the wild lupine.” Jaiden touched a grass-like spike with purple flowers dotting the stalk. She checked all around it, but given the look on her face, Marshall assumed she didn’t see anything.
“Why is it so important to find these butterflies?” Marshall tweeked an oak branch to check the leaves. No spots of blue. He moved to the next tree.
“They’ve never been documented this far north. It would be a rare find.”
“Have you seen one in person?”
“Only once. A man brought a bunch of Michigan butterflies to a presentation at the library. He had one mounted. He said he found it dead.” Jaiden sighed. “That was before it was added to the rare species list. The Karner Blue is very rare, even where it is most likely to be. The bottom side of its wings are gray, so if the wings are closed it doesn’t stand out very much.”
Thanks for stopping by! Be sure to check out the rest of the Tuesday Tales at http://tuesdaytales1.blogspot.com/.