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This is one of our monarch butterflies. We only have three or four, but it’s always nice when one of them makes an appearance in the garden and flits around for a while.

BTW, this is an example of a picture I couldn’t have taken with my old camera. It only allowed me to focus this close with the zoom set to its shortest focal length, which meant I’d have to be about six inches away. There’s no way the butterfly would have stuck around for that. But the Lumix allows me to focus pretty close even when the zoom is out to 100-200mm. I took this from a foot or two away, which was just far enough not to spook the butterfly into flight or flight mode.

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We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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