Zoomba

Welcome to March everyone! (or as I like to call it, my second month of less stress and better sleep.) I gave you a break from all of the birds in the last post. The choice of material may have not been the wisest decision as I am still waiting to be released from the couch. Didn’t know those Iowa women could hold a grudge that long. Good news as today’s featured creature won’t set her off. In fact, this may turn out to be one of her favorite insects.

Without further rambling I present to you an incredible transformation. Take a look at this boring, plain looking Butterfly.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Now for the surprise transformation. Our dull subject has a secret rave side. Fold those fragile wings down, catch some light and presto – vegas baby!

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Hit the jump to see all the beauty this Butterfly has to offer.

Okay, now that I have your attention, there needs to be a huge disclaimer on these pictures. I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, I am not a Butterfly photographer. Sure, I enjoy shooting them and always appreciative they are around if I’m having a bad bird outing. They are third in my field progression- Birds, Dragonflies, Butters. After that it is pretty much anything that moves.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

The problem is the field rig. I have to make a conscious decision on the equipment to bring along. Unless the destination is a botanical gardens or similar flowered themed area, that decision is always The Beast. That glass is NOT good for the tiny creatures, especially ones as fidgety and unpredictable in flight as these large winged insects.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Linda’s macro will be put to the task if I know I’m going to focus on the pollinators or decide to spend the night on the porch being creeped out by the local bugs. Investigations are underway thanks to a previous post suggestion from Brad M. to “over under” my rig. Could both revolutionize the photography world and make all the local health clubs rich at the same time. Will let you know how that goes hehehehe.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Now, if you want to see what a good Butter (and dragster) photographer can do, head on over to fellow blogger B at aptly named Butterflies to Dragsters (link here, his Butter collection can be found here). This post is actually fulfilling a promise I had made to feature what has to be the most beautiful species I’ve ever had the pleasure to experience in the States.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

I often kid, beyond the Swallowtails (link here) you can have your yellow variety (link here) or your white variety here in the Midwest. Based on that, it should be obvious that Mr (or Miss) Shimmer was not taken in the Midwest. It actually comes from Texas thanks to a visit to Estero Llano Grande State Park in Weslaco from our trip down there for the month of January – yes, only weeks ago keeping with the early week post freshness commitment.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Keen eyes will note a bit of switcharoo here. More like creative ordering. There are actually two specimens here – the first shot and those after the jump prior to the shot above was the first one I came upon. It was definitely a bit weathered and didn’t have as brilliant coloring as this second specimen. Slipped this second sighting right ahead of the jump to give a better feel for the stunning difference between the under and over wing coloration.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

This second specimen was found right after taking pictures of the Gray Rat Snake in the previous post. Should have photoshopped these Butters all over that restroom and led with how attractive that building was (would have gotten better sleep for sure ha!)

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

I must have been quite comical to watch as I tried to bring the barrel of the Beast to bear on the small subject. Jokingly refer to the process as Zoomba – an alternative to the popular fitness craze with a similar name where you hold heavy glass up to your eye and dance around trying to get a) a clear shot of a small subject through tangled brush, b) get outside minimum focus range and then c) contort your body into a pretzel trying to predict where the damn thing is going to land next. Second in exhaustion only to trying to stop Tree Swallows in flight.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Clearly there was a lull waiting for the target +1 bird to reveal itself allowing me to experience the spectrum of colors this Butter had to offer. Various shades of purple would fill the glass depending on the angle of the wings and the direction of sun. Tried my best to tin the various color explosions… amid the laughter going on in the background.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

Left this cluttered shot in just to show the full transition to almost a light pink.

Mexican Bluewing found at Estero Llano Grande State Park, Weslaco, Texas in January 2021

About this time I heard some excited voices at a nearby feeding station. The target bird had arrived – time for me to get back to my primary objective. Thanked the specimen for its time and headed over to the symphony of shutter clicks. Although not my specialty, did try to do some research and figure out what this Butter is. Best I can tell it is a Mexican Bluewing visiting from south of the border. There is also something called a Bluewave, however, that had a lot of white piping on the lines these specimens lacked. Feel free to correct my assessment in the comments.

Hope you enjoyed today’s winged creature. Not the usual one made of feathers this time, but one that rivals our local Hummers for sure.

10 thoughts on “Zoomba”

  1. Wow B that is a right stunner! Taken with your mega bird lens, kudos. I love the way the refraction changes the colour, very reminiscent of our Purple Emperor which goes from black to, well, purple (or bright blue) with just a little side step.
    Guess I would have been in my element down there and I believe there’s a special reserve for butterflies a certain ex-president tried to put a wall through!
    Keep up the good work, I’ll let you get back to the bird posts now.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Finally a species worthy to be put up against the UK trove of beauties. Although technically this one comes from Mexico, but it is on our soil so I can claim it as a US sighting. That Purple Emperor is very similar although this one didn’t go all black based on the limited time I had with it. We went right by the National Butterfly Center several times in Mission, TX, but each time we were in a hurry to get to Bentsen Rio Grande State Park to tin a very rare visitor. It is on our list for next time (and I’ll be sure and take the macro into there). No worries with the wall, we got an up close and person look at the construction and there is plenty of room for wildlife to get through the slats so no worries there on the Butter front – now the Javelinas might have to walk a bit to get through..media never seems to mention the massive gaps from section to section. A lot of people also think it sits on the physical border (Rio Grande river) where in truth it sits considerably back from it – many of the wildlife refuges/sanctuaries like Sabal Palms and Bentsen Rio Grande are all on the southern side of the wall.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Definitely – so used to our boring variety here that I was actually stunned when this one opened up its wings. Finally a rival to all those amazing UK Butters B is always introducing me to. Will have to convince Linda to lug the macro around for me the next time I’m down there – or just have her shoot them as she is used to the macro work — but then I’d have to ask her for the images and she still might not be talking to me by then thanks to the Snake post ha!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you CJ – feels like I was able to bring back a little bit of summer from our Texas trip (ironically, they are probably pretty upset we left a bit of winter with them ’em when we left – we got out of there just in time). Thanks for dropping CJ – thanks for the birds in your recent post.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. True words, however, outside of maybe the Flycatchers, I’m pretty comfortable tracking a bird from point a to point b where in contrast I have absolutely NO idea where a Butterfly is going to go – seems to be driven by part wind and part epileptic seizure. It is the fine motor movements that exhaust me more than anything. Now I do appreciate the fact they remain lower to the ground so my neck get stressed! Appreciate you dropping in and for the editor review.

      Like

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