Struggling to Distinguish the Lupine Blue (Icaricia lupini) from the Acmon Blue (Icaricia acmon)

(for Jonathan Pelham who devised the key)

Dorsal iridescent hue of cyanic overlay?

A thicket of specifics,

Extension of dorsal forewing marginal line

often barely distinguishable,

toward base along veins—absent, faint,

that we attempt to parse

or prominent? Caterpillars buckwheat

and interpret as each creature

or lupine feeders? Early generation or late?

goes on, not oblivious exactly

Lowland or high-ridge citizens?

but preoccupied with the avid,

melded, quick acts and judgments of survival.


Bill Yake, a retired environmental scientist, is the author of the poetry collections This Old Riddle: Cormorants and Rain and Unfurl, Kite, and Veer.


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