I can’t be the only one. I’m sure others do too. Working through the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat in July 2017, I saw this handsome Darner (Dragonfly?). Yes? No? It was too fine to pass up, so I made my approach (I shoot Macro- . It did not flee. I came in, within 18″ and shot away.
I was born during WWII and I still remember the Current Events reports my classmates had to give in PS244. Many students chose the really unpleasant reporting of America losses in battle that week in Korea. Then with Viet Nam I was an Artillery Officer, but our NYARNG unit was not sent over. With the contemporary war in Iraq and Afghanistan; the ever present concern that Israel will be engaged by its neighbors; the immediate carnage in Syria and now the of-concern-to-me build-up of PRChina’s military machine . . . all this and more has nurtured a lifelong begrudging respect for airplanes, jet fighters and now missiles.
When I watched Darners do their daredevil flying in those empty lots in Brooklyn, I became a forever fan of these amazing creatures.
When this slide came back from Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas I was pleased with the delicate capture of wings, the fair sharing of the head, abdomen as well as the nice muting of the background in soft color.
I thought this look served Darners well. They do what they do (capture their prey in mid-flight, at dizzying speed). As with our USAF fighter jets, they fly above and serve. Never, never have they harassed or assaulted me, even after thousands of hours in the field, darners everywhere.
When I meet a new butterfly for the very first time, a lifelong memory gets created. I remember this day, back in 2016. Rose and Jerry Payne were kind enough to meet me at the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. Happier than a duck!, what with the agreeable guidance of 2 accomplished lovers of butterflies, we headed to that swamp in the Refuge. Score! That’s where I met my first Southern Pearly-eye butterfly. Then there was my first Creole Pearly-eye butterfly. Triumphant, even after those hours of sloughing through dark, super-humid swamp, Rose asked: Is there any other butterfly that you’d like to see in the Refuge?
Yep. I’d be happy to see Silvery Checkerspots, Rose. Off we went. When they stopped and parked. Rose and Jerry spread out, and in moments, Rose called me over. This is my first ever Silvery Checkerspot! A very fine one, fresh and complete. Those white spots on the trailing edge of the hindwings sang to me. A Silvery!
What do I want to see in the coming weeks/months? Hessel’s Hairstreak, Elfins and Diana fritillaries. Yes, I know that’s asking a lot. The years have been kind, and now I can call many kind lovers of butterflies my friends. That so increases the odds for me. Happy, I am. I’ll return to Ohio in June and then to the Lower Rio Grande Valley in November.
We found Allenberg Bog. That western New York State bog was a treat. Tamarck Pine, bog Cranberry, Pitcher Plants and Sundew were there in abundance. They together verified that this was a true acid bog, a Sphagnum bog.
Allenberg also sported the Copper butterflies that I was searching for, Bog Coppers. The Cranberries were just finishing their flowering and the Bog Coppers were reaching the end of their flight. That means that the images I score, of Bog Coppers, did not 100% satisfy my determination to bring home good images of fresh Bog Coppers.
Barbara Ann is willing to once again join me, in search of that near impossible to find trail leading to Allenberg Bog. University owned (U. of Buffalo ?), I’m anxious to traipse the soft-spongy acid bog again, this time a bit earlier in June. The Tamarck Pines will greet me again. Will the tiny Bog Coppers dance for me as they did before?