The snow melted enough that the roads were open in the Modoc National Forest above Lava Beds National Monument at the end of June this year. I left the already-baking campground at Lava Beds in late morning and climbed into the cool forest.
On a side road, clouds of butterflies collected minerals from damp spots in the soil. As a plant person, I only identified them to family: Nymphalidae. I was caught in a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel as the butterflies surrounded me. They fluttered and landed on me when I got out of the car to photograph them.
They joined me when I stopped to take a bucket bath in the forest (there are no showers at Lava Beds). They pretended there were minerals to collect around the mirrors of my car.
They flew into the car to land on the dash and on me, to bless me with butterfly wing dust.