Friday, August 10, 2012

Eastern Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Today I had the beautiful experience of photographing a male black swallowtail butterfly. I captured it while it was flying and feeding at the same time. It was such a pleasing sight to watch all of the colors come together and create so much beauty.
I was reminded of how much elegance is around us at all times if we take the time to notice what is before us. 

Females have faded yellow dots on their wings while males have a bolder yellow dots. 
In my research I have learned that this beauty is the state butterfly of Oklahoma!

The flowers in the pictures are of a pink Agastache cana 'Heather Queen' plant, this variety is called the 'pink panther'. 

Butterflies feed on the nectar of flowers.
In many cultures they are symbols of change, growth and joy,  
their medicine is about transformation. As the life cycle of the butterfly is about one month from egg, to larva, to cocoon to butterfly they are powerful symbols of rapid growth and the celebration of transition.  This energy seems to be the theme of the summer. 

 I love how these amazing creatures show up in just the right time to offer their messages and their wisdom. At the time that this particular butterfly appeared I was thinking about a very specific topic. Taking the time out of my day to be with this butterfly gave me the gift of serenity and awe. It was a moment in which I witnessed nature's 'grace' in action. 

Some of my pictures were a bit blurry because the butterfly was moving so quickly. To me they look almost like little fairies, especially this one. 

'Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.' 

Zhuangzi (c. 369 BC- c. 286 BC)
Chinese sage

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