A True Twinkle in A False Eye

Owl Butterfly Eyespot close-up

I reached into the archives (back to the old Powershot A620 days) for this blazing example of a false eyespot of an owl butterfly; I had to crop it some, but I like it too much not to post it. I took the photo at the Magic Wings Butterfly Conservatory in South Deerfield, MA, which I would recommend visiting if you get the chance. The large owl butterflies (sorry, I don’t have a species for you) seem like they are a pretty reliable staple for such Lepidotera havens. From my experience they are pretty docile, perched in calm, static spots with wings closed. They, perhaps, in the lullaby of their relatively comfortable, “domestic” (as it were) existence, undersell the full-effect of their awing mimicry. On looking at the details and gradients of the “eye” in the steely hindsight of the photograph, I believe it is that much more amazing. I am left looking closely at the camera looking closely, until I step back and find myself at the sometimes overlooked but always crucial intersection of sight and vision.  The former is on a line, while the latter is of a moment. It is the moment captured precisely and embossed upon the line that, I would dare say, makes for a good photograph. I would go ahead and make all the grandiloquent comparisons of photos to ideas and solutions, or relationships, and lives, but, instead, I will leave that to your own imagination’s inclination. I am looking back at what my very real eyes saw, and what my mind failed grasp. The line was there, it was always there, right in my very own eyes, but I did not see until very recently. But it stays with us. For all those visionary moments we lose to the dull knife of time or the brute force of conflict, we have seen so many more moments, in and out of photographs, ready for us to claim them, ready to twinkle even in the darkest night and to lead us into the sights and visions of a new light.

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