I was about to run out the door for an appointment, but I just happened to look out into the backyard, at just the right time, to catch a fluttering streak of yellow. My camera just happened to be right by the back door, just happened to have a memory card already loaded, and just happened to have the right zoom lens already attached. The sun was out in full force, without a cloud in the sky, and there wasn’t a breath of wind. The butterfly, usually exceedingly unwilling to stop and land on anything, even for a second, just happened to be parked on a beautiful thistle, and the thistle just happened to be in full bloom. And for some reason, this butterfly just happened to let me get as close as I wanted without getting skittish and flying away. About all I did was press the shutter button.
Male Western Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on a New Mexico Thistle; Los Alamos, New Mexico
NatureWildlifeInsectsButterfliesWestern Tiger Swallowtail ButterflyLos AlamosNew Mexico