How to Make a Flying Stained Glass Window

Western Tiger Swallowtail ButterflyThe drought still sits over northern New Mexico, but in Sapello Valley, at 7600 feet in the Sangre de Cristo mountains, light rains have fallen 8 out of the last 11 days.

The Navajos call these "female rains". They fall slow and steady, sometimes for hours, softening the surface of the dry soil, allowing the moisture to soak in.

mid-July 2006 flowers 060

Grasses that were shriveled and brown two weeks ago cloak the pastures in green.  In the early morning light, bright blue flax, yellow Mexican Hats, purple penstemon  dot the hill in front of our house. Ruby-throated hummingbirds zing in and out of the soft pink fuzz on the apache plume.

Apache plume 2

As if in answer to the prayer that these rains last,  a butterfly with a wing-spread of 5 inches sailed by me, and landed on the blossom of a purple penstemon, its wings slowly pumping up and down, a stained glass echo of the yellows, blues, reds, purples and greens all around: a Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly. In the afternoon, as thunderheads built up, turned from white to deep black, and the rumble of thunder promised another visit of a soft female rain,  three golden swallowtails sailed around the garden, flying stained glass windows promising, if not an end to the drought, a gentle  and colorful respite.

Look around. What colors do you see?  How will you bring those colors into your writing?