Well, we were, right? In several recent posts?
Anyway, here are some shots from yesterday afternoon of a gorgeous tiger swallowtail that came flittering hither and yon about the old-timey zinnias planted along the walkway.
The day was hot with light clouds. It had sprinkled a few times during the morning hours—not enough to matter except to make the sultry air feel even more humid. Myladylove and I were working at various yard chores, though I was keeping an eye on a couple of loaves of banana-walnut bread in the oven, along with a couple of marinating steaks which were destined for the grill later on. When the butterfly came along, I immediately grabbed my camera.
A slight overcast always makes for good photographic lighting unless you're trying to shoot landscapes with a lot of sky in the horizon. But the afternoon's occasional gusty little breeze, while it gave welcome heat-relief, played havoc with my attempts to stay focused and framed on my fluttering subject. Often it blew so hard it was all the poor butterfly could do to hang on to whatever blossom it was nectaring. And sometimes, hanging on was impossible…and the swallowtail would be swept off, tumbling momentarily, at the mercy of the wind before it regained some measure of control and fluttered and fought its way back to the flowers.
I don't know whether or not a butterfly can feel frustration, but a photographer certainly can. And yet, frustrated as I was with the impish wind's effects on my photo session, I couldn't help but admire the swallowtail's single-minded determination, the pluck of something so small and fragile and aerodynamically vulnerable before any breeze more intense than the mildest zephyr. Would that I had the courage and perseverance to face my own comparable hardships with the same indomitable spirit and attitude.