Julian Alper
Nature of Israel

The Swallowtail

Swallowtail on Mount Arbel [Julian Alper]
Swallowtail on Mount Arbel [Julian Alper]

I watch and I wait.
Vanessa, the painted lady, flits, swiftly, from flower to flower.
I stand, waiting, camera at the ready, scanning the surrounding area,
As butterflies nonchalantly flutter by.
The tiniest flutter can be so effective,
To change direction, and so avoid my prying lens.
The plain tiger swoops past, without distinctive tiger stripes,
Looking a little moth-eaten, but, butterfly-like it can’t settle to anything.
I spotted a nine-spotted moth, not just nine spots,
One or two extra spots, methinks.
It could so easily be measles, but off it goes.
Then I see one,
More majestic than the monarch,
More admirable than the red admiral,
And prouder than the peacock.
The swallowtail,
Papilio machaon,
Could such beauty be captured in papier-mâché?
Or does it need my shutter press to encapsulate the moment forever?
With its swallow-like wings,
It’s a master flyer,
Funny to think,
In an earlier incarnation it was a caterpillar.
From a tiny egg,
The caterpillar emerged,
But the metamorphosis wasn’t yet complete,
The golden chrysalis, a quiescent pupa, appeared to be dead.
Then the butterfly sprang forth, imagine the imago,
And it has just a few weeks to complete its life’s mission.
It settles,
Just long enough for me.
I shot, I captured it,
An image of the imago,
Preserved for evermore in my digital library.
Eternally alive, forever still.

About the Author
I am an Amateur Photographer living in Tiberias, having made Aliyah from Manchester, UK. When not out and about with my camera I work as a Hi Tech Consultant. This is my website - You can see my contributions to Wikipedia - And this is my YouTube channel -
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