I’ve learned that certain events happen quickly and you have a very limited opportunity to get that perfect shot — throwing graduation caps into the air; that “you may kiss the bride” moment at a wedding; catching that surprised, happy and/or tearful expression on a pageant winner’s face before she pulls it together are all good examples. Releasing butterflies en masse is another.
The annual Monarch Butterfly release at the Pelican Woods Cemetery and Nature Trail at Breezy Point was held July 21. Though that moment where 150 butterflies were let go at the same time took less than a minute, that didn’t mean the photo opportunities were over. The butterflies are released in the center of a flower-filled garden so they don’t have far to travel to find food. I had the opportunity to photograph the butterflies close up and photograph people interacting with the butterflies.
I’m used to chasing after a single butterfly to try and get a close-up shot but these beauties didn’t mind the attention. The just released insects flitted around the garden, sometimes landing on flowers, sometimes on people. Eventually the people and the butterflies dispersed and after 45 minutes of taking pictures I called it a day, tying a small family as the last to leave and thrilled at having had the chance to see such a beautiful display.