Coyote Mercury

words, birds and whatever else by James Brush

Queen Butterfly


These aren’t great shots, but I saw this butterfly while walking along the trail last week and I had to stop and try for a few pictures. I should have opened the lens a bit to widen the depth-of-field and improve the focus.

I looked it up in my butterfly fieldguide, and it appears to be a Queen, which is a member of the Milkweed Butterfly family and is related to the Monarch. As I’ve been doing my weekly bird counts along the trail by the house I’ve been trying to learn the other creatures that live out there. Butterflies are not too hard since they’ll often let me get close so long as I move slow. Perhaps next year I’ll try to learn some of the wildflowers and trees.


I find butterflies fascinating and it’s quite peaceful to watch these little creatures whose lives are so short and transitory. Watching this guy sitting on the leaf, slowing opening and closing his wings as if breathing, was to fall for a moment into a different rhythm as breath synced with wingbeat. When I moved on, I felt as if I was waking up.


  1. what a gorgeous butterfly!

  2. It sure was. The polka dotted body is what really caught my eye. I’ll have to look for more next time I go walking.

  3. I love the photos, and it’s such a pretty little thing! I’ve never seen one of these, but then again, I haven’t seen too many butterflies (probably b/c I haven’t looked hard enough for them). What I especially liked, though, was your description at the end. I felt relaxed just reading it. Bravo.

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