Trail Partners (RSPB)

Red-Spotted Purple butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek Park, PA, 8/24/07

Working trails alone? I prefer it, for when folks appear on a trail you’re scouring, they almost always appear when you are poised to capture good images of a difficult to find, fresh butterfly. Way too many times I put on a forced smile, a modified greeting for those who have spooked my butterfly find, and caused it to flee.

True too, that after hours of not seeing anyone, there are moments when you wish someone would come along your way, so you can communicate, with a “Good Morning! How are you both today?”

There are butterflies that happily fill those occasional voids, and this is one of them. Red-spotted Purple Butterflies like to ‘claim’ trail quadrants, and when I find one, like this sweet one, truth be told, I sometimes, relieved to be able to interact with something, talk to it. Insanity? No. Losing marbles? No. Just a chance to relieve a touch of loneliness, upon spotting a fine looking, robust trail partner.

Raccoon Creek State Park, Hookstown, Pennsylvania . . . some 43 or so minutes west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Jeff