Sunday, September 25, 2016


Off on my morning walk 
on the trails through the South Carolina
Botanical Gardens, accompanied by my camera.  
I keep thinking that the butterflies should have disappeared by now, 
but it seems that only the swallowtails that are diminishing in number each 
week.  The monarchs and fritillaries are still in abundance, and I'm still finding
many in the caterpillar stage.  So wonderful, this seasonal unfolding of beauty—of new life.

Shortly after making the image 
of the Monarch in the header photo,
I came across this Great Spangled Fritillary
enjoying breakfast on top of a zennia.  It was the tip of his 
wing catching the early morning  sunlight that caught my eye.

Down the trail a bit, 
I came across some of the last 
cherry tomatoes growing in a small garden.

This is a Gulf Fritillary, 
also munching on one of the 
many zinnias (which are great for
attracting butterflies).  Whenever possible, 
I try to photograph butterflies against a dark 
background in order to highlight their colors and designs.

Another Monarch.
The wing designs and
color placements are amazing.
Notice how the white dots on the 
edges of the wings are matched with white dots on the head and neck.

This image is not 
as crisp as I would like, 
but you can see that I discover
other types of weird creatures on my walks.

This is the back side
of a Gulf Fritillary feasting on a zennia.

 Another Monarch

A Few Parting Words
The Tao Te Ching
(translation by Ursula K. Le Guin)

The Way bears them;
power nurtures them;
their own being shapes them;
their own energy completes them.
And not one of the ten thousand things
fails to hold the Way sacred
or to obey its power.

Their reverence for the Way
and obedience to its power
are unforced and always natural.
For the Way gives them life;
its power nourishes them,
mothers and feeds them,
completes and matures them,
looks after them, protects them.

To have without possessing,
do without claiming,
lead without controlling:
this is mysterious power.



  1. You are the Butterfly Whisperer. I'm always elated if I see a butterfly at altitude, but they never stay still long enough for a photo. (Or else the wind is blowing...) What an achievement this would be:
    "To have without possessing,
    do without claiming,
    lead without controlling:
    this is mysterious power."

    Thanks for taking me on your walk today, George.

    1. Thanks, Barb. "Butterfly Whisperer," you say. One could do worse in this life. I think it has a better ring to it than my title a few years back — attorney at law. Hope you are recovering from your fall. I'm quite impressed at how well prepared you were with medications, etc.

  2. George - how lucky you are to live where there are such beautiful butterflies. There has been a real dearth of them up here this year.

    1. Thanks, Pat. Yes, I'm really lucky to live near the South Carolina Botanical Gardens, which has consciously decided to grow plants that attract butterflies. In August and September, they're quite abundant.

  3. Such beautifully captured images and I so enjoyed your parting words. It's been a while since I read this, always powerfully gently beautiful.
    Next time I darken my backgrounds I'll pay attention. I usually don't, just do. And I'll take notes. Have a beautiful week, my friend.

  4. Thanks for your lovely comment, Laura. Glad you liked the words from the Tao Te Ching, a book which has been a constant companion of mine through the years.

  5. Amazing that you have so many butterflies in your area still! Such beautiful detail that you've captured with your photos. These are amazing little creatures.

    1. Thanks, Melissa. Delighted that you liked this posting.

  6. I just stumbled upon your blog. Wonderful photos, quotes and images. Who did the paintings on the right hand side? That lava red orange is extraordinary. Best, Diane

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment, Diane. Glad you like images and quotes. All of the paintings are my work.

  7. Wonderful blog, really lovely photos and excellent quotes. Who did the paintings on the righthand side? That lava red/orange is amazing.

    1. Thanks, Tulipfever. I assume you are Diane, who came across as "unknown" in the earlier post, to which I responded. Thanks for your kind comments.