I took this photo three years ago right after I moved into the house where I currently reside. I spotted this butterfly perched atop a zinnia I’d grown from seed and discovered it is called a Spicebush Swallowtail. Do all butterflies have names joyful enough for Vaudeville?
Today I am lingering on some of the sights I captured on this morning’s photo walk at Kendrick Woods instead of doing a single post combining them all. I’d guess that this photo shows a wildflower close to a lupine, which reminds me of the experience that inspired me to photograph wildflowers.
Way back when hair was bigger and waists were higher (a phrase that brings to mind the best band name I ever heard, When People Were Shorter and Lived Near the Water), I won a scholarship to participate in an Earthwatch wildflowers census at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory located high in the Colorado Rockies. I spent two weeks counting lupine, fireweed, linum, and other wildflowers. That fortnight was as rough on my body as it was uplifting to my spirit. Dancing weasels popped out of the holes in the floor of my unheated cabin every morning.
I left there with a permanent faith in the beauty of the natural world. I only had a cheap Vivitar camera packed with me, and I vowed that I would work on taking better pictures ever since.
(Edited to add, 7/15/17: I have now identified this wildflower. It is Baptisia Alba, or White Wild Indigo.)
Today is a vacation day for me, so I was able to squeeze in a quick morning photo walk around the wetlands that border my backyard. The wetlands are now lush with birds, wildflowers, and tall grasses. This is one of those places I cherish most, a touch of the wild so close to home. As walked around the path within it, I thought of a portion of Oberon’s speech from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2.1.235-239):
I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,Quite overcanopied with luscious woodbine,With sweet musk roses and with eglantine.
There were wild roses in bloom today, but they resisted capture through my lens. They were tucked into the deeper parts of the wetlands. Black-eyed susans are now in bloom, a sure sign that summer is conquering this area.
The good light was brief today. By late morning, a storm front began weaving thunderhead clouds and gusts of wind.