Tale Of A 7 Foot Tall Thistle (True)

Hover Fly on Thistle photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, Pennsylvania

That year grew Pennsylvania natives tall and robust. Working the meadows, forests and trails of Raccoon Creek State Park, 40 minutes west of the city of Pittsburgh, produced many cherished images.

This group of Thistle plants were all that, tall, strong and healthy. I chose this plant, a 7 foot tall giant, and hatched a plan.

I would stand under this flowerhead, and wait until a Swallowtail or a Ruby-throated Hummingbird came along. Still as a statue, maybe, just maybe, I could score a shot of a lifetime!

Life taught me to grow patience, and after about 38 minutes of waiting, waiting, waiting, I was reminded of those police shows on TV, with the New York City cops sitting in a police car, ‘staking’ out a house, awaiting the arrival of a criminal (now called a “perp”).

Hey, What This? Not a Tiger Swallowtail or a Great Spangle Fritillary of a Monarch . . . a little Hoverfly . . . . I didn’t hesitate. I shot away. Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!

A Hoverfly hovering over this Thistle flowerhead, it loaded with tiny (?) insects.

This remains one of my all-time favorite images. True that!

I left shortly after, with my Hoverfly images, and no Hummer did come . . . .