A Present Moment

A male eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) butterfly.

Our native monarda begins to bloom. One early-July afternoon, I read in the garden for a few minutes. It is so quiet with most of the neighborhood out-of-town for July vacations — I hear just the rustling of leaves and flowers in the breeze and a few mourning doves calling. A male eastern tiger swallowtail nectars in the monarda, and is so intensely focused on the blossoms that I walk right up to him with my camera. His wings are radiant yellow and unmarred, showing no signs of wear or age. The yellow glows when he dips into the shadows, and the scallops under his wings are vibrant orange and steely blue.

Underwings of an eastern tiger swallowtail on monarda or bergamot.

Though he ignores the company, three red admiral butterflies and several bumble bees busily nectar in nearby blossoms. They, too, are absorbed with collecting nectar and are oblivious of each other and of me.

Bumble bees (Bombus spp.) love the nectar of monarda blossoms.

Red admiral butterflies (Vanessa atalanta) visit gardens from April through October before migrating south.

This peaceful time on a warm summer afternoon is, for me, an active meditation on living in the present moment. It is a gift to share this time and space with such lovely creatures; to put aside frets and worries, to let go of the past and future; to just be in this one moment.

10 thoughts on “A Present Moment

  1. Lovely! I just shared the photos and your words with my 2 young granddaughters, who are building with Legos at my dinning room table. Alyssa was really listening because she gasped when she thought you were making a pun in your last sentence and checked to see if you spelled it as BEE! 🙂
    (Also, I had no idea your husband was such a fine artist! — loved that blog, too)
    Hope you’re having a great summer!
    Jan

  2. These are amazing, Beth! I love the way you catch everything and “freeze” the motion. They look ready to flit away in a heartbeat. Thank you for capturing so much beauty!

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