“From Cacoon forth a Butterfly…” ~ Emily Dickinson
That my favorite open field in which to shoot butterflies is prettiest and most prolific with these gorgeous “ladies from their door” in the early fall, when the blooms are fading to nothing, isn’t lost on me.
How often do we pass nature, life, not at its best, and without a closer glance miss the perfection of change?
I found this field, a private farm on the roadside between Clarkesville and a favorite Lake Burton waterfall of mine, several years ago, and marveled at the rows of zinnias planted at its edge.
Trance like, I parked in a clearing and was rewarded with sea of flying butter, winging above a buffet of failing blooms.
This was my best shot from back then.
I captured it handheld with a kit Nikon lens and my first “real” camera (the Nikon D7100 I’ll never let go, even though I’ve upgraded to a D810), on a programmed setting for “sports. At the time, I didn’t know how to adjust aperture, shutter speed and ISO myself, so I did what I had to do to capture tiny things that never, ever sit still.
This year, feeling confident enough in my Manual setting skills, I headed back with a new long telephoto lens (my Tamron 150-600, which I LOVE).
It’s a little earlier in the fall this time.
The flowers are in better shape, and the cloud clover wasn’t as dense.
But I had a couple of hours.
I took the chance.
Lightening might strike twice, right?
I hunted this little guy for about twenty minutes, handholding a lens I can’t believe I can shoot handheld—a lens others have warned doesn’t work well in autofocus, but it worked like a champ for me.
I wondered as I shot, the same as I did years ago, if I was the only person to stop and marvel. I mean, how many chances do you get to stalk flying butter on a bright, warm fall day? Who wouldn’t love to be in this place doing exactly what I was doing?
How many tourists and locals and other travelers to more important places pass by daily, never noticing the perfection of life’s cycle thriving on the side of a winding country road?
What inconceivable magic will we miss during this season of change, in our rush to make it through another day?