A small, blue butterfly landed on my right arm, sitting on my shirt sleeve. I expected it to take flight, but I went into still mode and watched it move about, turning in random patterns, six inches from my face. It explored for a good five minutes, feeling its way along and then stepping down onto my arm.
I have photographed many butterflies, but I have never captured quite the detail I saw from such a close distance. Our eyes are marvelous devices, and they can see a full range of bright areas and dark shadows. The butterfly turned about, exposing its wings the sun’s side lighting, which brought out texture. Light blue and gray wings, bathed with side lit sunshine, reminded me of an old style pressed tin roof, with narrow ridges carved out and filled in with the darkness of shadows. Spontaneous splotches of black paint dotted the wings, along with pressed, round stamps along wing’s edges, just below soft strands of silky white hair than shown out in the midday sun on a gorgeous 74 degree day.
After a time I slowly pulled a point and shoot camera out of my left shirt pocket, hoping to capture my new friend on my arm. Holding the camera and ready to take the image, I watched the butterfly lift off and then settle on my left hand, inches from the camera. I think it knew.
Sometimes it’s good to soak it all into memory, where good thoughts can help carry you through less peaceful times.
I don’t often take time from my busy schedule to visit with a butterfly. It won’t be around long; we need to learn lessons from it while we can. Same with people.
I never got an image of the butterfly. But after I sat on the rock overlooking Little Pigeon River in the Great Smoky Mountains for an hour, watching the beauty of nature with a soundtrack of rushing water, I realized this was why I came out today. Never thought about stresses in my life, and I actually forgot about everything other than what I was immersed in, at least for a time.