Me and my shadow

While pausing for a moment on a weekend walkabout, a daredevil butterfly began flying tight circles around me at knee level. Several mad minutes passed as I tried to follow his flight round and round and round. Never could catch the little booger, but settled for his shadow.
5-8-16 Me and My Shadow

Gotcha!

Butterflies and dragonflies in flight can be mesmerizing.  However, their erratic flight styles can drive you crazy when trying to capture them in pixels, whether panning with a real viewfinder or even worse, trying to pan using a digital viewfinder and its fraction-of-a-second lag (and no drive or burst function).

Well, a little spray and pray with the shutter yielded my favorite shot of the morning as this red-spotted purple moved through the canopy of the valley forest.

butterfly flying.
TAKING FLIGHT – Red-spotted purple flits among trees in the valley forest.

The nectar games

When the competition at the feeder was too rough, some hummingbirds opted to find nectar in the wildflowers below. The competition there was pretty good too — what with all those butterflies, bees and other pollinators. Here, a hummingbird goes for what must be the juiciest flower in the garden, since the butterfly was already there.

7-26 HB-Butterfly8-Edit
7-26 HB-Butterfly7-Edit

Voila!

A red-spotted purple emerges from its chrysalis July 22, a week after the photo on the left was taken. What a treat to catch this event just before having to start the morning commute.

red-spotted purple emerges from chrysalis
Before and after. 

Grounded

This red-spotted purple probably escaped a predator at the cost of a wing and the ability to escape again. Though grounded, he continued to spread his wings in the sunshine.

Red-spotted purple butterfly with one wing.
STILL BEAUTIFUL – Red-spotted purple butterfly warms himself on the roadway.

Things you didn’t know you had

The downtime between Christmas and New Year provides temporal space to start cleaning those things that may not merit daily attention, but languish in that to-do list priority category just above “limbo” or “someday.” Today it was a handful of glassware reserved for celebratory use and a compact flash card that somehow found a hiding place in the LowePro backpack.  Among the findings from the latter:

July 12, 2014, supermoon
Supermoon framed by pine trees. Taken July 12, 2014.
Indigo bunting in tree.
Indigo bunting preening. Taken July 13, 2014.
Upside down butterfly.
Butterfly hanging on the underside of an azalea branch outside the office window.

 

 

Weekly photo challenge: On the move

This week’s challenge is On the Move. Here’s what’s been moving in the trees.

Bee among the peach blossoms.
BUZZIN’ — Honey bee buzzing peach blossoms in April. Faster than my shutter, the motion blur is all his.
Yellow butterfly.
IN FLIGHT – Yellow swallowtail zooms through the Ouachita woods. These big-winged creatures can really speed. Hard to pan and follow.

 

 

 

Other movement you might like:

 

Some days, you just need a butterfly

Was out washing the car this afternoon and saw this common buckeye making the rounds in this sweet-scented wildflower growing next to the driveway. They were a welcome distraction — especially when, during the weekends, we become obsessed with getting done those things left undone during the work week. The hose and rags got put aside for a few glorious standing-still-moments in the sunshine.  Some days, you just need a butterfly.

In a few weeks, we should be seeing the monarch butterflies sweeping through on their southward migration.  We keep a couple of patches of goldenrods for these beautiful insects to light upon as they head south. The Blonde Gardener has a nice post about being a Monarch Watch Station and a couple of posts about the monarchs’ life cycle.  Maybe next year, we’ll try the watch station idea.

Buckeye butterfly on flowers.
Common Buckeye butterfly collecting nectar.
Buckeye butterfly on tiny white flowers.
Buckeye making the rounds. The tiny white flowers are dotted with other insects seeking nectar.