Many times, I’ve written as a wildlife photographer you have to be a passionate observer of the natural world. That we do our best not to interfere. This is nature, we are there to document, capture moments, and tell stories. Predation will occur whether we are there or not.

It’s hard to watch sometimes, but interfering in that moment will rarely result in any positive outcome for the prey or predator. The probable outcome is you disturb the balance, and put yourself in a position to get hurt.

So, I was taking my morning pass around the backyard looking for any good photo ops, and came across a monarch butterfly that had just flown into a spider web. It would flap for a few seconds, then fall still. My first instinct was to save it, then I stopped myself, and took a few pics, observing the end of a life cycle. After all the spider must eat, too.

You can see the spider in the upper part of some shots, a spiny-backed orbweaver, Gasteracantha cancriformis, beautiful in its own right. Not being able to watch any more I left the butterfly to its fate, my own words ringing in my ears telling me it was the right thing to do.

F*ck that.

I went back and saved the butterfly.

Some days the spider goes hungry. Some days your words come back to haunt you. Some days you forget all that other stuff and live in the moment, doing what you feel is right versus what you know is correct.

Some days you just have to save the butterfly. Maybe by doing so, you save a little bit of yourself.

Monarch Butterfly just minutes out of its chrysalis, before its wings have dried. Right next to it is another monarch Caterpillar, busy feeding on the host plant for Monarch’s, milkweed.