Tiny wings dance in the warm summer breeze as I explore the edges of my yard. She seems so carefree as she flits and flickers from place to place. The pale blue wings are are a joy to behold as the shutter snaps. It’s as if the Spring violets came to life and took to the wind. I have watched these little butterflies my whole life and never really took the time to find out the name. At first I thought that it was “Small Blue” which is a species found in the U.K. and Asia. But with a second Google search I learned that it’s a Spring Azure. Both are from the Lycaenidae family. The internet is full of scientific data on the feeding and mating habits as well as the season and range and all of the wonderfully nerdy things that make the internet interesting. But the best part of the little blue butterflies that are spotted in the warmer months is the childlike giggle that comes from deep within the soul when they’re near.
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Gently gliding on the warm breeze she sails through my field of vision and softly lights on the sweet clover. She is something special. Her distinct stripes and long “tail” identify her as the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. While she feeds on the nectar of flowers her young feed exclusively on the pawpaw tree. Once a favored fruit in the Appalachian Mountains the pawpaw (AKA pond Apple or custard apple ) is almost found only in the wild. Because the fruit has almost no shelf life commercial growers found no use for it. As a result it was not cultivated and is not nearly as abundant as it was even just fifty years ago. Because the the tree is so important to the butterfly their numbers have also declined. But on the old homesteads found on edge of civilization the pawpaw still grows and even thrives in a few places and so does the Zebra Swallowtail butterfly. If you see one during the breeding season then you can be sure that a pawpaw patch is nearby. If you’re an adventurous connoisseur of natural foods or vantage crops then it’s worth trying to find the pawpaw in season and give it a try.
Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page! If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook.
Prints of the Feature Image are available for purchase by contacting me either through Facebook or via the Contact Form on my website. Simply mention the title of the post and let me know what size print that you would like.
Softly the brightly colored wings float in on the warm breeze. The sweet smell of water mints mingles with the Virginia Bonset and Goldenrod. The sun is low in the marbled sky and I let my big blue truck drift to a halt. The Monarch Butterfly has been playing on edge of the parking lot all day. Gently it flutters from flower to flower sipping the nectar. I roll the window down and raise my camera into the ready position. The Monarch teases me as it feeds by fluttering it’s wings quickly. Further up into the bush a mockingbird gives it’s long song. The shutter snaps at just the right moment as the Monarch pauses. A peaceful feeling washes over me as I preserve the mountain beauty in my lens. Soon the sweet scent of all the bloom will fade and the warm breeze will be chilled by the changing seasons. But, I will have this moment to warm my heart and this beauty to sooth my eyes against the coming grey. With my task complete I start the motor and turn my big blue truck towards home.
As summer season comes to a close in the Appalachian Mountains it’s important to enjoy the sunshine as often as possible. Already the morning air is beginning to feel crisp and cool. As we draw nearer to September the afternoon is generally warm but without the oppressive humidity of July and early August. It’s a great time for a walking some ignored backroad or forest path. Occasionally I meet a fitness walker who’s just trying burn off a few extra scoops of ice cream, but I’m here simply to decompress from the day. I turn off the music and podcasts. Let my Facebook notices wait a bit and keep an eye towards the roadsides. I’m looking for anything interesting to catch in my lens. The little tortoise shell butterflies dance and play in sunbeams as I walked. The one in my feature image circles around my head a few times as if to say “Look at me! Look at me!” And begins a game of catch me if you can. First it lands on some golden rod and I step over for shot. Before I can focus it flutters over to an elderberry bush on the opposite side of road. Then it’s off to explore some red clover. I’m trying to keep it in frame and getting a better workout than the fitness walker who giggled slightly as she passed. Finally the little guy comes to rest on the lespedeza and unfolds it’s beautiful wings for me. Who needs a personal trainer when mother nature is so playful?
Friends gather on the banks of the beautiful Kanawha River at Glen Ferris West Virginia. They’ve come to enjoy the warm sun and the cool waters. Playfully they leap into the air for the occasional game of tag and to float on the warm air as it rises and carries them to the tops of the trees. Their lives are completely devoid of aggression and malcontent. They soar on the slightest breeze because they have no burdens to hold them down.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that good will leads to a happier place in life. It is a promise made to us by God. We all have good days and bad days. There’s days when I can get triggered by the slightest little thing and before I can stop myself I’ve said or done something that I regret for weeks. And, you know what? It takes twice as much expression of good will to free me from that regret. I might feel like I was winning a debate or putting someone else in their place but the truth is that those actions become a burden almost immediately. So, if you want to know the real secret of joy and freedom it’s benevolence.
I’ve have always been blessed to be surrounded by beautiful women my whole life. From my mother who raised me to my wife that loves me in spite of imperfection. Thank you to all the friends, coworkers and “adopted sisters” have truly enriched my life.
Friends gather to enjoy the warm sun and retell old stories. Perhaps he’ll recount the story about escaping from a hungry bird. She’ll tell the one about the sweetest bloom ever. There’s love and laughter in the warm sun. There will be a game of chase and spectacular aerial dances between sips of nectar. Life returns to the meadow and all is right with the world.