Working at my desk in my man-cave late at night when something FLUTTERS across my field of view. Momentary anxiety that we are harboring an unusually bold family of clothes moths. Relief to see it on the wall and recognize a Cabbage White butterfly, which apparently rode into my room unnoticed on a hyacinth blossom earlier in the day.
Another sign of spring is emerging in the patch of plants around our mailbox:
The "shrubby" plants toward the back are perennial rue that serve as a food plant for Black Swallowtail butterflies. Toward the front are spikes of milkweed that scoff disdainfully at puny human efforts to suppress weeds with a thick layer of hardwood mulch. I'm now checking them daily when I retrieve the mail, expecting to see Monarch butterfly eggs on them later this month. According to the Journey North map, a Monarch was seen on the Illinois/Wisconsin border 3 days ago.