Well, we drove home from the beach today. Days mostly spent driving, especially when you’re more interested in trying to get home than see the scenery, are tough days photographically. It rained quite heavily as we left the beach and until about the time we got onto I-95. Then traffic was characteristically heavy all the way home, particularly on the stretch between Richmond and Washington. One of the worst routes in the country, I suspect.
Anyway, I did go out back when we got home, because the butterflies have appeared. I’ve seen a few before now this summer but this afternoon there were a couple swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) and a monarch (Danaus plexippus). They are surprisingly hard to photograph well, for a number of reasons. They don’t like to be approached too closely. Also, they are often overhead in the buddleia, putting them against a bright sky background. Finally, they hide on the other side of flowers and turn so that their wings are seen from the edge, instead of nicely displayed. This picture does a pretty good job of showing the pattern on the underside of the wings of this male monarch.