Mountain Meadow Butterfly: The Elegant Swallowtail
"...the highest enjoyment of timelessness... is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstasy is something else, which is hard to explain. It's like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with the sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern..."
~ Vladimir Nabokov
Novelist and Lepidopterist
Yesterday we celebrated our anniversary by spending the day in the mountain meadows of the Alberta Rockies. It's one of our favourite things to do in the summer. We whiled away the hours chasing butterflies, enjoying the wildflowers, lying on our backs watching big white fluffy clouds go by, breathing in the delicious scented mountain air and quietly listening to the hypnotic harmonic hum of bees and the sound of the wild grasses swishing gently in the breeze.
As always, at this time of year, tons of bees and butterflies were happily buzzing and fluttering everywhere in the meadows, alighting on all the wildflowers. Mountain meadows are the best place to see butterflies: it was chock full of skippers, coppers, and gorgeous little blues, all of which were simply too fast for me to track. The fritillaries, checkerspots and swallowtails stay on flowers a bit longer, so they are my best bets for photographing. It was sunny and hot and there was a nice breeze blowing, which cooled us wonderfully but made it a bit difficult to photograph flowers and butterflies. But, as always, if I just keep clicking the shutter, I somehow manage to capture something in focus.
We ended the day sitting beside a cool burbling mountain stream in the dappled shade of aspen, birch and pines, where we devoured a delicious picnic I'd packed for us. It was an utterly perfect day.
Happy Anniversary, my Love! :)