Thomas Doty – Storyteller

Siskiyou Pass

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Butterflies

I walk the ridge from Bull Gap to Mount Ashland past colors as brilliant as fall: the last of the summer butterflies. The Siskiyou Mountains is famous for its diversity of species.

In the 1950s, Vladimir Nabokov spent portions of his summers here collecting butterflies for eastern universities He collected on sunny days, penned drafts of his novel Lolita on cloudy days and evenings, and crowded his host's garage with empty bottles of cheap wine the locals called "red mountain goofy."

I walk the ridge. Within a few weeks, toward the first nights of frost, the last butterflies will disappear, leaving memories of their colors in the brilliance of fall.