There is a flash of dancing black and yellow among the thimble berry blooms, and you scamper through the thorns toward it, convinced that this is one of the beautiful native swallowtails. The butterfly is somewhat agitated and perches here and there, but never for long, and it does not spread its wings for a classic butterfly photo. So be it.
When you return home and download the day’s images into the computer, you realize that this sighting was something very special indeed. Your magnificent visitor was a Giant Swallowtail, and they don’t live this far north. Wonder of wonders, you were there in the woods to see it.