Pursuing Beauty

In the last month or two as I’ve walked the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge I’ve noted a small, yellow-orange butterfly, an Orange Sulphur, as it turns out, flit back and forth in front of me. Try as I might, though, I’ve not been able to get a picture of it, even with my 400mm telephoto.

My luck changed dramatically this week, as I got shot after shot, even though I had to use the 400mm telephoto I was carrying for birding. If I’d had any idea there was going to be so many and that they were going to be so calm, or distracted, I would have brought my macro lens and got even better shots. As it was, I often found myself having to back away from a butterfly that had landed at my feet because my telephoto couldn’t focus that close.

Here’s the best of twenty or so shots I took:

At first I thought that perhaps the sudden lack of birds, even song birds, might account for their tendency to totally ignore me to the point of nearly landing at my feet.

After I saw these two chase each other through the flowers, though,

I suspected that it was probably different passions that drove them, and they no longer cared who I was or what I was about. Who could blame them, considering that they seemed to be pursuing the same beauty that I had futilely pursued much of the summer.