Gray Walk, in Living Color ~ haibun

Gray Walk, in Living Color

Two days ago, we had 80 degrees and 80% humidity. And overcast. Yes, muggy – wanting to rain. But I thought I might get some photos of milkweed at that “breakout” stage, with fuzzy seeds clinging to pods, so I headed to a local conservation area to walk the trails. I had been there a few weeks earlier, taking photos of monarch caterpillars, but I knew those would be gone for the year. As it happens, the milkweed needs another week, so I continued my walk, expecting few photos with the poor lighting provided by a cloudy sky.

Until I was surrounded by color. As the path enters a large meadow, there is a broad expanse of flowers, and flying from plant to plant were hundreds of monarch butterflies. I spent the next fifteen minutes trying to take photos of these beauties as they moved among the flowers, more concerned about fueling up for the great flight ahead of them than they were about maintaining any clear line of sight with my camera lens.

As it started to sprinkle, I continued my walk into the woods, looping back after a mile of shelter from the rain to come back to those flowers. The sky was no clearer, but the rain had stopped, so I took a few more photos before heading out of the park. With fifty yards to go before reaching the parking lot, random raindrops started falling and I made it into the car just as a steady rain began to fall. This morning I woke to 46 degrees.

preparing for flight
butterflies feed on asters
milkweed drying up

(clicking any photo will open a larger image in a new tab)

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Ken G

36 thoughts on “Gray Walk, in Living Color ~ haibun

    • Thank you, Xenia. The shots were tricky. Due to the cloud cover, I had to raise the ISO to 400, then still go with lower shutter speed due to the zoom. Of course, they we’re behind leaves more often than they were in the open.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Ken, your photos are gorgeous. To find such a beautiful subject to pose for
    your camera must have been a thrill. They do like Asters, I have many butterflies on my Asters in the garden.
    Your tree trunks are beautiful too.

    As is your poem.


    Liked by 1 person

    • A few years back, I visited a friend in California. He took me to Natural Bridges State Park (near Santa Cruz), one of the places where Monarchs winter. This was in late October, and he said it looked like a “light” day, but the trees were covered in Monarchs – and Wow!

      Liked by 1 person

      • How wonderful! I. would love to visit there. Do you remember it was just a few years ago when we were told that the Monarchs were on the verge of extinction? Doesn’t seem to be the case any more. I planted “butterfly” bushes the last few summers and I’ve seen an abundance of them. Good news 🙂👍

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You’ve opened up the treasure chest of nature for us.
    Thank you.

    The last rain we had (last night) downed a couple of small branches from the silver maples.
    I was finally able to mow my front yard this morning. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Similar Sights, Different Light ~ haibun | rivrvlogr

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