The midday sun hovers high over my mountain illuminating the patch of Rose Of Sharon bushes on the edge of my yard. As I step around the corner the freshly opened flowers are alive with bees, wasps and butterflies. I began to move in closer and when I do the butterflies retreat a little deeper into the sea of flowers. I suppose that the phrase “Chasing Butterflies” is cliche for a reason. I cautiously step into the high weeds using the camera monopod to probe for snakes until I reach the open spot where a deer had bedded down the night before. If I set still long enough they’ll come back I promised myself. The bumblebees and carpenter bees float effortlessly between blooms with so much pollen covering their bodies that they look as thought they’ve flown through a snowstorm. And then finally the sun catches the iridescent blue hind wings as they move through the thick underbrush. I waited and watched and for several minutes I thought the male Pipevine Swallowtail would work it’s way the other direction. The suddenly he turned and came back as if he suddenly remembered something that he’d forgotten. The long lens only provides a narrow opportunity for focusing in the confined space but as the butterfly hovered for a moment before landing everything came together. The buzzing of a mosquito in my right ear distracts me for moment and the reflex to deal with the annoying creature gets the better of me. But when I look back up the Pipevine Swallowtail is gone and a second mosquito is trying to land on my face. The swarm has found me and that means it’s time to step away from their hunting grounds. I’ll be back out to the patch in a few days to chase the butterflies again.
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