Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Butterflies that get away (SWF)

Gray-headed Coneflower

Just beyond this rise, on broad beautiful wings, a Giant Swallowtail weaves a path back and forth, into dim woods and out again, a needle through fabric--the black above flashing strongly, light beneath it, splashed with color. Like a small bird, she leads me from one to the next skipping along this edge, then suddenly plunges within and is gone.
Never before have I seen one, so large of these least common swallowtails—
yet there could be no other, her color, her size, her form.

Even on this bright afternoon, where the flowers of the field stand under strong sunshine, the woods lining this river basin are cool and dark, protected.
Tall stands of Pale Jewelweed dangle their yellow blossoms at eye-level.
Tap me on the shoulder as I pass.
They, too, are not the ordinary—
the commoner I’ve left at home.

Pale jewelweed, Impatiens pallida

Orange jewelweed, Impatiens capensis

Resting on a leaf beside the trail through these dark woods, a dragonfly finishes his dinner—a smaller damsel, with coal-black, lifeless wings.
Steady he stays, as I stand closely watching.
Beauty on wings—
some captured, some lost.

Black-shouldered Spinyleg, Dromogomphus spinosus
eating Ebony Jewelwing

See more Skywatch here.

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RuneE said...

When you are into wildlife photography, most of the subjects get away - but those you got where excellent!

bowledover said...

Lovely captures here.
That Dragon Fly had its work cut out to deal with the insect every bit as big as its self.

Pearl Maple said...

Beautiful collection of photos for sky watch friday, your writing is lovely.

Barb said...

Hello Nina,
The shadow of the Dragonfly wing is wonderful on the green plant. Beautiful sky shot, too.

Appalachian Lady said...

Nice photos--I felt like I was along with you in that field.

bobbie said...

Very lovely pictures, Nina.

Babooshka said...

Great dragonflies. Not easy to capture.

Anonymous said...

Butterflies always managed to elude me. You need a perfect approach to ever get them.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful jewelweed...I love them!

Regina said...

Beautiful and awesome!

Arija said...

Nina your lyrical descriptions are truly a treat as are your lovely photos.

Bim said...

The flower meadow is delightful - as are the flowers in close up. And I've never seen a dragon fly eating until now.

Melusine said...

Indeed an exciting post,
with beautiful images!

Larry D said...

Wonderful photos!

Lynn said...

You always have the best nature pictures! I especially like the second one.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

We have lots of the orange jewelweed up here, but I've never seen the pale variety before. Lovely shots, Nina!