Tag Archives: Monarch

“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

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

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