Warm sun on cow manure has its own special smell. I came to know it well this morning as I tracked butterflies puddling along the almost-dry creek.
Perhaps the smell alerted the blues to this spot — dozens of them flitted about.
Puddling — mud puddling — is common among many butterflies. It’s mainly a guy thing: Flower nectar satisfies most of their nutritional needs but they need more than nectar to reproduce successfully.
So they sip up salts and amino acids from mud and manure. (Some species use blood or tears. Even rotting flesh. Eck.) During mating they pass the nutrients to the female in their sperm, ensuring healthy eggs.
Cow. Manure. Butterfly. Slick trick.