The Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary is located near Worcester, MA and is a short 55 minutes drive west of Boston. Butterflies are the main attraction for me but there is also very nice birding and hiking through woods and fields, along streams and marsh. According to their website there are 78 different species of butterflies present throughout the year. Last year I stopped in a couple of times to look for and photograph butterflies in their natural habitat. It was somewhat successful but a slow process and I still have a long way to go. At the speed I am producing it may take many, many visits but it was a tremendous fun. I remember the second photo shoot as a very challenging undertaking since the weather was not cooperating. Windy conditions are not beneficial to photograph butterflies but after a couple of hours I had captured some images to work off. After arrival I first scouted the garden area to see if any butterflies were present and found one Monarch nervously flying from one flower to the next. Excitement took over and I pulled my camera and tripod out of the trunk. Ready to shoot I first followed the butterfly around and tried to determine a flight pattern. In the end I settled for a location where I patiently waited and hoped the Monarch would come back to. Although a good approach it did not work for me that day. Instead a dragonfly landed right in front of me and started to pose. It wasn't bothered at all by my presence. I took the opportunity and snapped a few images and then moved in closer and closer to capture more; always praying that the dragonfly wouldn't decide to move on. Luckily my prayers were heard and I brought home some nice dragonfly close ups. In the meanwhile the Monarch was going about its business and I decided to handhold my camera to follow it around. The wind was moving everything from the flowers to the butterfly wings. There was not much hope but a few times I lucked out and the wind came to a standstill for a fraction of a second with the Monarch in place. The handhold approach provided me with the flexibility to capture the Monarch in a couple of images. I like especially the one with the unusual perspective. During my last attempt to photograph the Monarch I set up near one of the butterfly's favorite flowers and waited for it to and right on it. Although ready to release the shutter immediately the Monarch never returned and instead I went home with this floral image. The Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary is a wonderful place for everybody to visit and I am sure you will find me more often there this year!
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