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)