Tag Archives: butterfly

“First Red Admiral of the Season”

“First Red Admiral of the Season”

“If you feel lost, disappointed, hesitant, or weak, return to yourself, to who you are, here and now and when you get there, you will discover yourself, like a lotus flower in full bloom, even in a muddy pond, beautiful and strong.”
― Masaru Emoto

This week seems to be a day of firsts. Earlier, I posted an image of the first Bloodroot blossom of the year. This image, of a Red Admiral butterfly was made a few yards away from the flower photo.

This is what I love about spring, it’s a time of firsts, or rather, a time of returns. The return of those familiar things associated with each season, the things that mark that season and location as unique in our recall.

What makes this photo special to me is not just the beauty of the butterfly, but the small signs of green around last year’s dead leaves. A sign to me, that life is returning, as it always has, to the forests around me. And with that, new wonders, new plants, and new images to make and share.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 200 mm
1/160 sec, f/7.1 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Poised for Flight”

“Poised for Flight”

The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter.”
― Paulo Coelho

I’m clearly missing the colours and warmth of summer as I sit here watching winter slowly grip the land. This photo was made in mid-September while I was out looking for wildflowers to photograph. But, being  ever the photo-opportunist I decided that this lone monarch butterfly was a good subject as well, as it gently and randomly floated around me, eventually landing just off the trail.

Those who photograph butterflies on a regular basis, you know who you are, can relate to the  time and patience required to get a good shot. In their natural environment,these skittish little beings simply to not sit still, nor do they land in close proximity to the photographer. They flit and float around on the breeze with no predictable pattern or destination, often not even landing. So we need to ‘sneak’ up on them, trying carefully not to disturb them, lest they take to flight again.

That’s why this photograph is so representative of the butterfly ‘quest’. They seem to be always ‘Poised for Flight’. Just as you compose the shot and all is perfect, off they go again. When all the elements fall in place, the wind is calm, and nothing disturbs them, a good shot is finally achieved.

Next time you look at a beautiful butterfly image, realize that a lot of effort probably went into creating the shot and it’s probably the only one in many that was satisfactory.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/160sec, f/6.3, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“So near, and yet…”

“So near, and yet...”

“Distance sometimes lets you know who is worth keeping, and who is worth letting go.”
― Lana Del Rey

This is a bit of a shift for me today. I went back in my photo archive, looking for some colour and came across this image I made in the spring. The title came to me as soon as I saw the image, recalling how I composed it, deliberately leaving the dark area between the butterfly and the flower.

They were only inches apart, yet through the viewfinder, it appeared that the butterfly had a journey to make, a dark void to cross, as he sat considering the blossom. This was also true literally, as the image was made at the Niagara Butterfly Conservatory, not outdoors,  and this little fellow had plenty of competition lying in wait, seeking the same blossom, though they are out of the frame here.

It was also a bit of challenge for me, attempting macro-type photography with my 70-200mm zoom. But, the light was good, and the image stabilization was quite effective. However, I would like to return next year with a macro lens and attempt it once more.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/60 sec, f/4.0, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Monarch and Woodland Sunflowers”

“Monarch and Woodland Sunflowers”

“It is strange how new and unexpected conditions bring out unguessed ability to meet them.”
― Edgar Rice Burroughs

I did not set out to photograph flowers or butterflies this day. I was hoping to catch the Atlantic Salmon run at the Whitevale dam. I’ve gone there in the spring many times and have had good success with photographing the rainbow trout migration. However, I have yet to witness the salmon run which happens in the fall along the same creek. I will have to keep checking back.

What did happen on this hike was I found myself in a deep grove of woodland sunflowers that towered over my head. I made a few photos of them but the scale was lost in the photo. As a came around a bend in the creek, which ran right next to me, I looked up and saw this monarch butterfly resting peacefully on one of the sunflowers. I never did get a clear shot of him, but the photo above was one of the better views. It’s these unexpected moments that keep me constantly learning about my camera and to be prepared for any eventuality, lest I miss it, and the moment becomes mere memory.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/100 sec, f/5.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Home”

“Home”

“It is very important that we have the capacity to love many different things or people at the same time. Our love should radiate like the sun, warming everything it touches.”
― Peggy Toney Horton

The sun is less intense, nights are cool, and mornings full of mist and promise. The fields are filled with late summer wildflowers: goldenrod, purple asters, fleabane, and the shells of mid-summer blossoms, now gone to seed. And, the butterflies, oh, the butterflies abound. Yellow sulphurs and cabbage butterflies dart around nervously, and the monarchs perch upon their milkweed.

As is evident with this singular monarch butterfly, they certainly have an affinity for milkweed, it’s where they chose to lay their eggs and seems to be their nectar of choice, till the blossoms fade and seed-pods form, then they seem to favour goldenrod, at least in this area, and the goldenrod is plentiful and healthy this time of year.

Despite all the bright colours competing with her, this monarch still stands out as she perches atop her pedestal, her home, surveying the world around her. It was interesting that she remained still and let me approach, quite closely, without alarming her. She just sat there, basking in the sun and fanning her wings; drinking in the final warmth of the day.

I took  multiple shots as she fanned her wings, trying to capture that exact moment when the late afternoon sun illuminated her wings from behind. All the elements came together, provided the effect I wanted to convey, and made the image look almost three dimensional.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/200 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Pearl Crescents on Maple Leaf” – Secord Forest

“Pearl Crescents on Maple Leaf” - Secord Forest

“Everything in me feels fluttering and free, like I could take off from the ground at any second. Music, I think, he makes me feel like music.”
― Lauren Oliver

I’m finding these wonderful small butterflies everywhere lately. In this case, what I believe to be a mating pair, based on the slight size differences and colouration. It was interesting to watch numerous butterflies floating around in search of a suitable mate. There are other small orange butterflies, called ‘skippers’, who get inadvertently drawn into  the  amourous dances of the Crescents, but only briefly.

Nikon D800
Nikkor 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G I AF-S VR Zoom @ 300mm

1/160 sec, f/6.3 ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com

“White Spotted Butterfly” – Secord Forest

“White Spotted Butterfly” 0 Secord Forest

“Only when we pay attention and notice small moments, do we make the connections that lead to a change in our perspective.”
― Andrea Goeglein

It’s pretty amazing what you see over a 5km forest hike, especially in a forest as diverse as Secord Forest. Which, fortunately for me, is only a few kilometers from my home, which makes it a super convenient place to go, without a lot of preparation.

Back to the woods, as it were. I’ve gone there a few times over the past few weeks, constantly amazed at how fast the forest goes from its brown, dead, winter form, to a verdant explosion of life and ongoing cycle of growth, blooms, and thriving wildlife.

Lately, with all the blossoming flowers, butterflies have been bountiful. I must admit, that I had no idea just how many different species are native to these woods. I am familiar with the common varieties, like Monarchs, Mourning Cloaks, and the multitude of Coppers and Skippers. Yet, there are vast numbers of tiny butterflies that barely catch your attention, till you stand and watch for movement between the plants.

This specimen eluded my attempts at a photograph for quite some time, but I finally got a good image of its spectacular colours. It’s so small, about the size of a thumbnail, that I did not notice the bright yellow shoulder patches till I looked at the image on my computer. I did spend a bit of time looking up the actual name, but among thousands of butterfly species, I finally gave up and simply named it by its appearance. If there are  butterfly enthusiasts out there who can enlighten me on the species, that would be greatly appreciated.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD
 @ 200 mm
1/180 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/EdLehming
or my website (some images available for purchase)
http://www.edlehming.com