Bypasing the shortcut along the upper garden fence, I clumped along the old track past the clothesline.
Trumpet vine clambers over the woodpile and grasps its way up a crabapple tree near the path; just beyond, a bluebird house hangs, weathered and crinkle-roofed in a redbud tree, undisturbed since Haskell Rogers placed it there years ago.
The lapis blue of the little feather lying in the damp grass fairly shouted in the muted grey and wet green of the morning.
A gold leaf glowed through the transparent barbs.
I pulled my camera from a deep pocket, snapped photos from several angles before gently lifting the feather for a closer look.
I placed it carefully back in the grass, then decided to claim it as a treasure, bringing it inside.
It is the habit of a lilfetime, this clutching and hoarding of found items.
My Grampa Mac fostered this bent when in childhood I returned from any foray into field or woods, my pockets stuffed with pebbles, clumps of moss, acorn caps, or with a fallen bird's nest cupped in my hand.
He set up a makeshift table on his front porch and invited me to display my treasures there.
In each place I have lived, a jumble of small rocks crowd an old bowl, bird nests gather dust on a shelf; dried flowers sift from the pages of books.
I was well pleased with my glimpse of blue on a dark wet day, but there was another gift in store.
Near the garden gate a butterfly flexed sapphire-dusted wings in the wet grass.
Sally the Barn Cat made a dash for it seconds after I snapped the picture.
I thought I had encountered a Black Swallowtail until I loaded the photo and realized some
research was needed.
This is a "red-spotted-purple" butterfly, formally labeled Limenitis Arthemis.
One of its preferred hosts is malus--so the gnarled appletrees of our back dooryard extend a welcome.
What's in a name?
I still count this as a sighting of 'something blue!'