Last Shot: Butterfly Feasting on Dame's Rocket

It is one of those it-could-rain-anytime-anyday sorts of weeks in central Pennsylvania, and it is turning my beloved home state into a great, lush, green rainforest. We make our plans around what we see coming at us on the online weather map; well, our OUTdoor plans, at least.

My husband wanted to jog, and I was going along to walk and take pictures. So we went over to the Scotia Barrens, only this time we drove over to the dirt roads near the shooting range. I took along my little tunes box and my hopes for seeing some butterflies.

I saw some really great red-spotted purples, and I took quite a few pics of them. They are such friendly butterflies; you can get very close to them. But the one that really captured my attention was this larger, dark butterfly.

I saw a huge section of dame's rocket, which is the lovely purple, white, and pink flower that lines our roadways this time of year. And then I noticed this black butterfly flittering on it! Maybe a swallowtail of some kind? I stepped closer.

I got off just this shot, which, as it turns out, was the last shot "on the roll," as we used to say, but I guess I'll say "on the memory card" now. I knew I was getting down to the last few pictures but I wasn't sure how many I had left. Now I know: just this one!

You can only imagine my consternation as, after this, the butterfly STAYED on the pinky purple blooms, kept on feeding, and gave me "the money shot," as *I* think of it, which - in butterfly terms - is when the butterfly turns and gives you the full, glorious, dorsal, open-winged view.

But I missed that shot, as I was putting in a new memory card and formatting it. The butterfly was gone by the time I was done. In retrospect, I should have backed up a few shots and deleted the half-dozen photos before this, to give me just a bit more room on the card. What can I say? In the heat of the moment, I choked!

But you know what? I'm not crying, because I got to see this butterfly, which I believe to be a spicebush swallowtail - and I DID get one decent shot. And now I have a brand new memory card in, with room for thousands more photos.

So as Neil Diamond would say, dry your eyes!

Dry your eyes, take your song out
When it's a newborn afternoon
And if you can't recall the singer, can you still recall the tune?
Dry your eyes and play it slowly, just like you're marching off to war
Sing it like you always wanted, like you sung it once before
And from the center of the circle, to the biggest of the waiting crowd
If it ever is forgotten, sing it long and sing it loud
And come dry your eyes

Here is Neil Diamond from The Last Waltz, with the song that kicked everybody else's butt that day (yes, I mean it; it was a fabulous show but THIS was the gem of the bunch!), Dry Your Eyes. (And turn it UP. I always do!)

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