Butterfly on flowering shrub

On Saturday, J and I went walking at Arnold Arboretum, knowing it would be in peak flower the day before Lilac Sunday.

Arnold Arboretum

Saturday was a beautiful, sun-drenched day, and the lilacs were indeed in flower, admired by countless picnickers, lounging couples, and families walking with dogs, baby strollers, and children on bikes and scooters. Although neither humans nor dogs are allowed in the Arboretum ponds, J and I spotted (and photographed) one biped who waded brazenly, undeterred by the passing crowds.

Green heron

Click here for more photos from the Arboretum, including several additional shots of the green heron we saw stalking fish and frogs. Enjoy!

Pollinating butterfly

I wasn’t planning to take any photos on this morning’s dog-walk, but I couldn’t resist the sight of a butterfly pollinating flowers alongside the usual handful of bees. Even on mornings when I’m not planning to take any photos, I have my everyday-use camera in my purse, within easy reach. You never know when or where there might be butterflies.

Grasshopper on flower

The world, it turns out, is full of such serendipity. I wasn’t planning to take any photos across from the Starbucks in Waban Square, but when I saw a single butterfly dancing around flowers that were within easy shooting distance, I walked a few feet out of my usual way, Reggie happy to sniff a few steps this way rather than that. While taking a handful of butterfly shots, I spotted a grasshopper sitting atop the same cluster of flowers: an unforeseen bonus. Had I not taken a few steps this way rather than that, I’d never have seen it.

Some might argue that looking at the world through a viewfinder narrows your vision: there is so much that lies outside your perceptual frame, you run the risk of missing the proverbial forest for the trees. But I say that carrying a camera encourages a depth of vision: zeroing and zooming on one small thing, you see another and another. William Blake was right, and he didn’t even own a digicam. The whole world dwells in a grain of sand, and all of heaven hides in a wildflower.