Searching for good photographic subjects on Big Walker Mountain, I happened upon a group of these large, blue and black butterflies. My friend James Shelton, who is quite the amateur entomologist, tells me this butterfly is a Pipe Vine Swallowtail.
During a recent visit to the Big Walker Mountain Lookout tower, near Wytheville, VA, I noticed large blue and black winged butterflies busily gathering nectar from nearby flowers. I had my camera on a slow ISO setting and the evening light was beginning to fade. The resulting image of a blurred butterfly seemed appropriate to me since they seemed to never stop moving.
“Don’t walk through that tall grass,” my Uncle warned. “It’s full of chiggers.” I decided to go anyway; there were some lovely wildflowers I wanted to shoot and I’ve survived worse than a few chigger bites. Two weeks later my ankles finally stopped itching. The wildflower shots were okay but this dragonfly made the itching worth it. If I didn’t know better I would sweat it’s actually smiling.