I love that famous photography saying that “the best camera is the one you have with you.” This image, although certainly not one of my most technically correct macros, was a fun capture because I was actually on the back of the riding tractor when I took this.
As I was mowing the lawn and, ahem, decapitating most of the dandelions growing in the yard, I noticed this beautiful Zebra Swallowtail fluttering along beside me. I stopped and watched it settle down on a group of flowers near the fire pit.
As I came around for another pass, it was still there, so I decided to leave a swath of flowers for it to enjoy. Seemingly in return, the beautiful butterfly posed for me on the dandelion as I leaned down to snap a few photos with the iPhone, even with the tractor rumbling a few feet away.
Actually, I wasn’t sure that this was a Zebra Swallowtail since it didn’t sport the tails and was smaller than the typical swallowtails. With a little Googling, though, I discovered that the early spring form, “Marcellus” is smaller, with shorter tails, and is whiter than late spring or summer forms that have more black and longer tails.
You learn something new every day. And another lesson for me was to always carry my iPhone, even when mowing the lawn, because you never know what surprises may await around the next turn.