It’s time to start blogging the Blue Ridge Parkway itself. But which picture to use?

The wildlife has mostly spent its time mocking me and my camera. However, late Tuesday, just before I fell into a creek, I found a beautiful Red-Spotted Purple butterfly. I think it’s more like blue with orange spots, but I guess no one asked me. Anyway, it landed near me and just sat there no matter how close I got. Very unusual. I figured it must be sick or dying or something. But no: after I emerged from the creek I saw it flying around with no problems.

But after a few minutes it returned to its rock and wouldn’t budge. It repeated this cycle a couple of times while I was there. I’m not sure what accounts for it. I’ve never seen a butterfly act that way before.

UPDATE: I guess that’s not a rock after all. Perhaps something a little more, um, pungent and organic.

May 7, 2019 — Riffles Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia
May 7, 2019 — Riffles Overlook, Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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