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