Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Photographing butterflies is like photographing flowers

Flowers that move.


And erratically.

It is astonishing how butterflies can move. I saw one fluttering along the side of the house, about three feet above the ground, when suddenly, literally in the space of a single second, it shot up and disappeared over the peak of the roof, which is about fifteen feet high. That's a twelve foot vertical ascent in a single second, by an insect perhaps two inches long. I know these things don't scale, but that would be roughly the equivalent of my making an 800 foot ascent in a second, and I don't think that would sit very well with me.

The butterfly garden is expanding. More than doubling in size, in fact. Judi has been studying intensively, and has found lots of plants that are different in habit or nature from the ones she already has, and attract different kinds of butterflies. The original butterfly garden, however, is full. Full as in no-mo'-plants-gonna-fit-in-here full. So a new one is under construction.

Photographing butterflies is trying -- you end up with a lot of empty frames -- but here are a few that I managed to get. Clicking on them will open a larger version:

Gulf Fritillary Upper Wings

Gulf Fritillary, Upper Wing

Gulf Fritillary Underwing

Gulf Fritillary, Underwing

In Flight

In Flight

Black Moth or Butterfly

Black Moth or Butterfly

This is Judi's current pride and joy: What we think is a Yellow Swallowtail caterpillar, chowing down on a fennel plant. He's been moved to inside the Florida room to protect him from birds and other predators:

Caterpillar Front


Caterpillar Back

Munch, munch, munch


BEAUTIFUL, beautiful photos! I was quite the junior amateur lepidopterist when I was a wee girl, but I haven't done a whole lot in a long time. Keep on with the updates!
These are awesome photos! Very interesting! I love the shots of the yellow guy. I had no idea they were so colorful.

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