Red Admiral Butterflies Appear without Fanfare

Red Admiral Butterfly on trail, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania

There are butterflies that I’ve now seen hundreds and thousands of. I’m near embarrassed to admit that I no longer pursue them, for my Neumade slide cabinet (a gift from a friend in Pittsburgh) has strong photographic images of them.

Know too that there are butterflies that I’ve seen dozens of, give or take, and that I still rush to go after. Why? Because though I have images of them, I believe that there will come along a fresh one, and I want an even better photograph.

Here’s one that I will jump up from a crouch, from shooting others, to rush to score an image of. The Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) appears without fanfare, usually lingers for moments, and then speeds away. I have seen several over the years that just stunned me, they so vividly colored, so gorgeous (this word here correctly chosen). My careful, patented, robotic approach near always was futile, with the stunner gone before I could close the Macro-distance to it.

This one here is a tad worn, but so reminds of what I had hoped it might be. The Fuji Velvia film used here provides exactly how sweet it looked, real-time.

Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania (+/- 8 hours west of New York City).

Jeff