Saturday, August 6, 2011

On The Hunt






Along came a spider
Sitting down beside her
I waited for a scream.
She sat upright with grace
Until the little spider
Crawled across her face
And filled my heart with glee.










He stood on the hilltop and gazed out at all the new blooms. The sweltering heat swirled around him holding him within it's inescapable grasp. There were a few locusts far off in the woods singing out their song and asking him to join them in the shade of the forest. A tiny bit of black and yellow caught his eye and guided him through the tall grasses. It was a Giant Swallowtail, a beautiful find he wanted to share with a friend. She had just written she hadn't gotten but one shot of this butterfly in a few years. He smiled seeing another off in the distance.Walking slowly toward his prize he shot a few photos hoping to get a nice image. These butterflies like to move their wings while they eat, a way to perhaps disguise their appearance or maybe to pump nectar from the new blooms. As he watched he wished he had carried his water with him rather than leaving it in the car. The heat didn't seem to bother this denizen of the prairie, it seemed to enjoy the solace from other residents.He followed a few more, there must have been a recent hatch of this species because they were the most dominant out today. He chased many and came close to another having landed nearby.

Rising up with a breeze the butterfly took off heading down through a draw. He knew it would be hard to stay with it and looked for others nearby. Walking back toward his vehicle he laughed when he looked down at his pants. He was covered in sticky seeds from tickseed plants lying low in the tall growth. When they were in bloom it was shared with many Gulf Fritillary buterflies, perhaps migrating following the blooms of this tiny yellow flower. A silver spiderweb showed off to the side and he went to see who had built it.A newly hatched Banded Garden Spider held court in the middle of this huge web. It was only the size of his thumbnail, but soon would become quite large. The hot sun made the spider almost look like it was made of glass, it's colors blended with the surrounding plants. Laughing he thought of fishing the week before with a friend and watching a small windblown spider crawling on a friend. he waited to see if she would notice, not wanting to set his pole down and miss a nibble on his line. She soon was animated trying to rid  the tiny web and rider while he tried not to laugh.

As he approached his car a Tiger Swallowtail landed off in the distance on some Liatris. He watched as it methodically worked around this huge purple spike and sipped the sweet nectar from all it's tiny flowers. he thought about the cool drink and headed in the opposite direction to his vehicle. A dusky Black Swallowtail was working the edge of the prairie. It's colors were faded, it had neared it's end of life. A new generation would soon arise from this prairie and soon the colorful offspring would be catching his attention.A Tiger Swallowtail joined him and they shared a bloom together. Perhaps they whispered to each other comparing their day. His car was running up ahead and his little dog sat with his friend in the cool of the air conditioning. When he opened his door he realized how warm it was. Heading down a dusty road a sumac stand caught his attention. It was turning red early, it's foliage looking more like the fall season that was approaching in a few months. A horse stood up on the hill, trying to ignore the others around and they set out down the road to visit a vegetable stand. Another day hunting butterflies was behind him.

28 comments:

  1. So many beautiful butterflies this year. Isn't it wonderful? :)

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  2. Is that a photo of a sumac tree? My God its leaves are already turning! Does Fall come early out there? Miss Betsy

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  3. Hi Steve !
    I come back. I have had some internet connecting problems this week.
    I do not like very much the hunting but hunting some beautiful butterflies is very pleasant, especially when they stand on beautiful flowers.
    Have a nice week-end.

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  4. Great pics. I love it when there are large butterfly hatches.

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  5. I don't mind photos of spiders, but that's as close as I want to get. I really dislike those things. You've really got some great butterfly pictures. They must call you the "Butterfly Hunter."

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  6. Steve, yes I can identify with time spent chasing butterflies. Too bad about those sticky seeds - such a chore to get them all off your clothes.

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  7. a great year for butterflies allright. Now if I knew which one was which....

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  8. What BEAUTIFUL butterflies you have!

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  9. Butterfly Hunting.....sounds absolutely perfect!
    i DO hope you would tell me about the spider before I screamed. Next to flying...spiders are my next fear:)

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  10. I was beginning to think this would be the year of few butterflies but they seem to have all come out at one time. Lovely pictures.

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  11. I've seen many more butterflies this summer than last summer. Beautiful pictures.

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  12. ....beautiful photos of the swallowtail, and I love the way you described finding it on the prairie...really interesting (fun twist to the spider nursery rhyme too).

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  13. such lovely photos of the butterflies and then that poem...lol

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  14. Beautiful beautiful as always! Thanks for identifing the butterfly in my post today, it is the 1st time I have seen one. How was RAGBRAI?

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  15. Your story and pictures of the butterflies makes me think of my last few days.

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  16. Gorgeous shots! I did butterflies on my blog today too! :0}

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  17. beautiful thoughts and stunning photos, so glad to be back enjoying your wonderful blog. Hope you've been well

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  18. It has been a great year for butterflies here too.

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  19. You sure did see a lot of Butterflies!! They are so pretty. I wish I'd see some. Maybe I will. The next two Saturdays I will be outside with family reunions. But of course I won't be out in the sun much. I'll be under the pavillion canopy with the rest of the older folks..Ha!

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  20. The story and the photos are all so peaceful and happy. How can you NOT be content when you see an ocean of tall grass and happy critters?

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  21. You must be the butterfly whisperer.

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  22. I LOVE the horse shot Steve!
    They are all great but the horse is lovely!!
    hughugs

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  23. Lovely nature shots and another wonderful tale. Thanks Steve. I always feel like I am going on a great nature hike when I visit your blog.

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  24. you have a very productive hunt bringing beautiful images and a very nice story to tell.

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  25. Steve, just located a great butterfly ID site, you might enjoy also . . .
    http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/gallery

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Keep it positive and informative,I enjoy hearing from you!