Tag Archives: butterfly

“Monarch Butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“Monarch Butterfly on Queen Anne’s Lace”

“You are imperfect, permanently and inevitably flawed. And you are beautiful.” 
― Amy Bloom 

I’ve been saving a quote for some time, waiting for the right image. Well, the image presented itself a few days ago. As I’ve said in a few posts, butterflies seem to be scarce this year, Monarchs even more so. I think this whole season I’ve only seen a handful.

This one was simply too wonderful to resist, despite it’s damaged wings? What, what, damaged? Have a closer look. What at first appeared to be a ‘perfect’ specimen, on further inspection shows some late summer wear and tear, though not extensive, the damage is irreparable. Does this make the butterfly any less beautiful? Not to me, as I watched it perched so wonderfully, posing, as if just for my benefit.

It was beautiful in its imperfection, and I’m glad for that. The damage makes me wonder how it came about. With all our rain and wind over the past few weeks, I’m surprised to see butterflies at all, let alone mostly intact. I can’t imagine how they survive. Yet, this one did, offering me a nice long view.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/200 sec, f/7.0 ISO 100

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“Wood Nymph on Crab Apple Leaf”

“Wood Nymph on Crab Apple Leaf”

“Miracles… seem to me to rest not so much upon… healing power coming suddenly near us from afar but upon our perceptions being made finer, so that, for a moment, our eyes can see and our ears can hear what is there around us always.” 
― Willa Cather

For those living in the path of today’s solar eclipse, I’m sure it will be tough to compete with the spectacle in the sky. If I had to chase those spectacles, I’m sure I would have stopped making photographs years ago. Fortunately, that is not the case and there is so much wonder in the seemingly mundane spaces around us daily.

Today, I set out mid-morning to make a few images of local wildflowers, only to find many have already gone to seed and the next ‘wave’ is just starting to bud. Yet, in my periphery I caught movement and noticed this wood nymph floating and fluttering from plant to plant, occasionally sitting to sun itself, then taking to the sky again.

It took a while for it to finally land on a leaf that offered me decent lighting and a side view. And, it took me a while to get close enough to get a good image, without spooking it away. Persistence paid off and I was a able to get a few nice shots of it. Despite some wear and tear, so common in butterfly wings this late in the season, it was a fairly nice example of this common woodland butterfly. The only drawback was that the butterfly was content to just sit there and did not open its wings to offer me a top view. Despite this, I’m always happy to be reminded that being in nature frequently puts me more in tune with it and makes it easier for me to spot things like this that others simply don’t notice. I often have people looking at my photos surprised that I made the image steps from home.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/40 sec, f/16.0, ISO 100

For more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Monarch on Purple Coneflower”

“Monarch on Purple Coneflower”

“There are times to stay put, and what you want will come to you, and there are times to go out into the world and find such a thing for yourself.” 
― Lemony Snicket

For the past several days, I’ve watched one or two monarch butterflies on my purple coneflowers (Echinacea purpura) and I have not had my camera handy. By the time I gathered my camera and got outside, it seems the butterflies had flown off. Or, they fly off as I slowly approach the flowerbed, not to return that day, to my knowledge.

Today, fortune was with me. I was on my way to gather a blossom to photograph in my studio and I noticed a Monarch as busy feasting on the flower’s nectar, along with many honeybees. Once more, I did not have my camera with me and, once again, I went inside to get it. On my return the butterfly was still on the flower, but flew away as I approached. I decided to wait it out by photographing the blossoms and the bees, seeing the butterfly floating around in my periphery. Well, it paid off, and the butterfly, unable to resist this large cluster of Echinacea, returned once more and gave me the opportunity to snap a few shots before taking off once more. This is one of the three images I made while it fed.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/160 sec, f/10.0, ISO 320

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“Purple Pillar”

“Purple Pillar”

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.” 
― Anaïs Nin

An unknown butterfly on an unknown flower. It really bothers me not to be able to identify the subject matter of my photos, but I can’t figure out what either is. The purple flowers grow in a small cluster in a single location. I’m wondering if it’s an escapee from somebody’s garden. Standing over a meter tall this plant has six leaves coming from a central node and beautiful stalks of purple flowers. It may be Culver’s Root, but it seems out of place.

The butterfly may be a skipper, but I don’t recognise it from below.

It was, however, a brief opportunity to get a photo of the butterfly feeding on the flower, quickly composed and shot before the butterfly took off and the moment was gone, leaving me with a mystery to solve.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/80 sec, f/16.0 ISO 200

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“Skipper”

“Skipper”

“Dream high, beyond the sky; no matter wings so small, keep vision bright; just dare to learn, for you are born to fly.” 
― Vikrmn

I don’t get tired of these plentiful, colourful butterflies. When trying to figure out the exact species, which I was unable to do, I discovered that there are over 250 species in North America alone and close to 3500 worldwide, each slightly different from the other.

This one posed patiently for me, as I made this single image, before it darted off to its next resting spot. The name ‘skipper’ is so appropriate for this small, brightly coloured wonders.

I’m also enjoying looking at them closely with macro photography and seeing the structure of the antennae and the wooly jacket of its abdomen and thorax, such complexity in something so small. It’s a real wonder to behold, each and every time.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/250 sec, f/9.0 ISO 800

for more images like this, please visit my Facebook page:
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“Air Traffic”

"Air Traffic"

“He imagines a necessary joy in things that must fly to eat.”
― Wendell Berry

A final look at this fleabane plant and accompanying wildlife. The Crescent butterfly, now satisfied, flies off to its next destination, while a small bee arrives to repeat the cycle.

I like the movement in this image. It nicely illustrates the activity that goes on, even around a single plant, all day long. Each visitor, in its turn, partaking of what the plant has to offer; in return, the plant sends its pollen along to neighbouring plants, a hitchhiker tagging along with the hungry visitors, anther cycle. It’s quite a thing to watch, and much of it is missed, since the smaller flies and bees are so small and fast, that they are merely blurs to the naked eye, frozen here, to enjoy and wonder at.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/500sec, f/7.1 ISO 400

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“Crescent Posing on Fleabane”

“Crescent Posing on Fleabane”

“Silence

It has a sound, a fullness.
It’s heavy with sigh of tree,
and space between breaths.
It’s ripe with pause between birdsong
and crash of surf.
It’s golden they say.
But no one tells us it’s addictive.”
― Angela Long

I’m revisiting a Crescent which posed on a clump of Fleabane. My previous post had the butterfly drinking nectar from the flower, with an accompanying bee. In this image, the butterfly simply sits, its wings spread wide, warming in the sunshine. The image also serves to illustrate that even slight changes in a composition can change the whole feel of the image.

While the prior post was filled with activity, this one is quite serene and just pretty to look at. It brings a sense of calm with the pink flowers and the soft green background. Plus, there seems to be something about butterflies at rest that invokes that same restfulness in the observer.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mm
1/500sec, f/7.1 ISO 400

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