We have no doubt that as a result of our interest in photography the world around us which we thought we knew has taken us to a new level of detail. I have always been interested in the smallest details (sometimes too much) but to find I can focus in a new way on things which others may ignore has been a revelation to me. Dad may have seen things through a father's eye and wondered why I was concerned about some of the things I brought to his attention but both of us agree when it comes to nature, our undivided attention reaps rewards. To think we are both back at school learning all over again, enjoying taking time to stop and stare, look up and look down as there really is a miracle everywhere. I quote from a favourite hymn 'Something lives in every hue'
The weekend presented us with another lesson which we both learned from. We were walking through Mount Stewart (as per usual) with the prospect of checking on our swan family and maybe going back to see inside the big house. It turned into an afternoon staying in the one place in the beautiful gardens. My eye was attracted to the open wings of a butterfly and I quickly followed its flight, hoping we would have our first model. Well this model wouldn't be the most attractive one! Much like our world today if we had judged on the sight we saw we may have walked by or even trampled on what looked like a withered leaf. At first dad couldn't see the object I had lay down to try and take a photo. Keen eyes never miss an opportunity and soon dad joined me on the ground both of us with cameras ready. A group of ladies passing by, meaning no harm but they were extremely interested in why we were looking at an old cork oak tree. I held my breath as one came close with a rather large handbag to point at the object so the others could see, in fact some of them still couldn't make out the crumpled leaf disguised on the bark. I knew every second was vital as our discovery could open its wings and flutter out of sight in the blink of an eye, which it eventually did.
We took all the shots we could even though they will never make it to an art gallery we knew it was important to collect as many details as we could in order to identify our butterfly. It may seem odd to people looking at these photos that we think they are worth sharing. I will leave the verdict to anyone reading this blog but as a result of the time spent we now have a different eye when we see butterflies. We don't have a spectacular photo of the Red Admiral butterfly with wings spread wide. We have photos of his story as he hid on the old cork tree and how we could have thought it was an wasting leaf. Someday we hope we will find a Red Admiral in all his splendour but we are grateful to have had the opportunity to see another side of a beautiful butterfly.
As a personal note on this, how often are we made to feel lonely or ugly yet only those who know us can see a beauty within. Just like the butterfly in disguise sometimes we need to reveal we have beauty in our hearts and only those who take time to get to know our nature will accept us as being part of a society which sets the high standard of how we should look. Outward appearance accounts for so much in the world we live in. I know what it's like to feel like this but can channel my feelings through my camera lens to observe what others might dismiss. Recently I have felt very low but when we spend time with nature I cherish the calm that enters my mind. I use my photography to overcome challenges and know without dad coming along I wouldn't be sharing our photos online. I typed this blog after feeling inspired and all because I saw pretty wings like a parasol contracting as the butterfly caught my eye.
Today our first sighting of a Small Tortoise Shell butterfly in our garden, caused great excitement, all housework suspended. Stop, yes we have welcomed this butterfly for a few years. Beauty in colours as the wings are open but today we took note of his wings when closed...another master of disguise!