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thirty one | by damiec
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thirty one

"for they are like dream flowers - childhood dreams - which have broken loose from their stalks and escaped into the sunshine. Air and angels."

-Miriam Rothschild


I have tried for at least three summers now, maybe four, to get something approaching this series of butterflies in flight, but capturing mating butterflies was beyond my imaginings. About a week ago a pair of swallowtails, one male yellow and one intermediate black female, spent the afternoon dancing together about my yard. taking intervals away from each other to eat, and then rejoining each other in the air. i just watched for a while - it was magical - and it felt as though the sound of my shutter might break the spell. but eventually i couldn't help myself and i started shooting, fully expecting, as so many times before, that what i'd see in my viewfinder would be a shadow of the experience. this time was different, i feel like i was granted a gift by the butterflies. and when i saw this image on my monitor my heart leaped. it held the magic.


i don't usually crop my butterflies, save a square to eliminate distracting foliage, because i think seeing the butterfly in the context of how i saw it is important, but at my husband's insistence I have a really tight crop of this shot in comments. also a few others of this dramatic pair as they moved about my yard.


thank you all so much for cheering me on, it means a great deal, and it keeps me going around day 19 when i'm ready to pack it in. i will still be shooting butterflies, because truth be told, i can't stop. the buckeyes, which i love, don't really start showing up here till later in the summer, and if the heat ever breaks and we get out to our c.s.a. i'll see the adorable long winged checkerspots that we don't get around here. so there will still be butterflies, just not every day. and if you would like some of my butterflies for your own, i am making notecards and postcards of some of them, and will be opening an etsy shop in the weeks to come. I'll share the information here on flickr when they are ready.


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Taken on July 24, 2012