I was in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat. Yes, I had seen hundreds (many) of butterflies there, making my 13+ hour drives from Pittsburgh easily worth it. Sometimes I saw the most beautiful butterflies I’d ever seen, ever. The possibility of seeing magnificence was always tantalizingly present.
My strategy was to get there as early as possible, at least before 8:30 A.M. in the morning. I especially liked finding butterflies that flew out of their night perches, and stood on leaves, soaking in the rays of the morning sun. Those trips south paid off, with exceptional images and joy, real joy!
That morning I arrived early, and went straight to a spot that gets full sun from the East. I scanned the perrenials for signs of butterflies, just as we learned to do in basic training at Ft. Dix, New Jersey (Viet Nam has begun to boil over, and we took that training deadly serious).
I saw them, in low perrenials and . . . I could not believe it. I saw one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen. A pair of eastern Black Swallowtail butterflies, coupled tighter, about 18 inches above the ground. Look at them, see how fresh they were, how vivid their colors.
I wasted no times, robotically making my ‘patented’ approach. What was I thinking? The ever recurring thought was that G-d had set this stage for me, and I’d better not waste it. I shot away, maybe 20 exposures.
Sylbie arrived in the Habitat minutes later, and the rest is . . . History.
Feast your eyes on this female, her patches of blue defying words! After, I thanked G-d for this experience, as I always did for such incredible moments, even this many years after Frieda’s A”H passing.