Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for August 23rd, 2015

What the mockingbird knew

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Tawny Emperor Butterfly Faded and Ailing 1598

At one point when I was walking near Shoal Creek in central Austin on August 20th I noticed a mockingbird on the ground that kept coming toward me. It got closer than I expected it to and I wondered why, when suddenly I saw it peck at what looked like a little dry leaf on the ground not too far away from me. Then I saw the “leaf” make a slight fluttering movement, so I walked forward to investigate and the mockingbird finally retreated. What it had seen and pursued but I had not was a tattered, faded, and ailing tawny emperor butterfly, Asterocampa clyton, that was near the end of its days. Whether that chomp out of the deposed emperor’s wing had been taken by the mockingbird, it knew but I didn’t, nor do I know whether it came back after I took my photographs and left, leaving the butterfly on the ground and to its fate.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 23, 2015 at 5:36 AM

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