Monday, August 17, 2009

Butterflies are Free!

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Being the bad guy that I am, I went birding without the Doodles to Ottawa (where else?) to try to see the migrating shorebirds that are starting to arrive from the Great White North (that would be Canada). If I was a good guy, I would have been helping the Doodles out with caring for her mom, aka Mother Doodles, while she's recuperating in the hospital. It seems Doodles and her sister did fine without me, probably better actually...

I'd like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts.

Now you're probably wondering why I'm talking about shorebirds, but posting butterflies. If you've been out to any wetland areas looking for peeps, you'll understand. As I've stated in the past, and begged also, I REALLY NEED a Canon 800mm lens to get shots of those far away little critters. I'll thank you in advance, my dearest friends from Canon (there's TWO plugs for you!) Yep, them lil' shorebirdies aren't like my favorite warbly things, nooo, they like to sit in the baking sun, in the mud, waaaaayyyyyy far away from Loopy and his measly (but wonderful!) 300mm 2.8 Canon lens (plug #3).

So, I have a good number of photos of little, teeny, tiny fuzzy specks that I need to identify and crop this week. I will pick the best (?) to post of the recognizable images.

In the meantime, butterflies have wings too, and they're free.

Here's a Common Buckeye taken down near Shreve, Ohio with my telephoto lens. I have a macro lens, but never seem to have it handy when a butterfly comes into view. I need to work on that!

Common Wood Nymph. If it's so common, how come this is the only one I've seen? Hmmm?

This time I had my 100mm Canon macro lens(plug #4) at the ready! This Eastern Tiger Swallowtail was getting minerals near a river bank. He needs to try "One-A-Day Plus Minerals" for Butterflies...

This European Skipper is a regular visitor to the wildflower gardens in our front yard. He's so soft and fuzzy!

This Great Spangled Fritillary is trying to pretend it's a flower. "Don't notice!"
Using a telephoto lens for insects presents a challenge.
You have to see how far back you can get to get them in the frame before they fly away!

A Red Admiral getting his fix of minerals. I tried licking the rocks too. I wouldn't recommend it. ick.

This is a Red-spotted Purple, truly one of my favorites!

You guessed it, a Spicebush Swallowtail getting down to the nitty-gritty with the minerals!

It looks like a Monarch, probably tastes just as bad to some birds too, but it's actually a Viceroy. Notice the clean band running across the hind wing? That's the most notable difference.

I swear, this Zebra Swallowtail was really playing Peek-a-boo with me. I would move and he would move.
He won, I gave up and here ya go!
If you see more butterflies...that means I'm either going crazy with the peeps...or just going crazy!


  1. Hi Dave,
    Wow gosh, you got a nice post about butterflies!! The number of species is just crazy!!
    I can of understand what you mean by I need a bigger lens! Although one of my problem is the weight! My health does not permit me to carry huge items and these big lens are rather heavy. That is why I took the 300m plus the 1.4 extender. I also love to walk while I'm birding, something you can not do with a big lens. So i agree the 300mm is a good compromise!

  2. Beautiful butterflies, and so many of them! Must start looking a little harder around here!

  3. Wow, a nice assortment of butterflies; I esp. love that red-spotted purple. I feel your pain on not having the 300 mm on hand when a photo op arises...that was me on Sun., face to face with a red-tailed hawk that allowed folks to get w/in 25 ft as it perched on a sign by a creek. ARG! But then, the birds of prey have this conspiracy going against me...I also feel your pain on not having a beastie zoom as well.

  4. made me laugh as usual. I'm even measlier than you with just a 70-200mm (do have the 2x TC, so that fakes me out to 400!). Love all the butterflies you have here. I keep trying to find a butterfly haven around Cincy, but haven't yet. I think I'm going to turn my yard into one. I just doubled my garden size....I'm going to go crazy with milkweed...that should do it! :-)

  5. I think I'll post more butterflies before I do the shore birds! Some of them are very small so you have to look closly!

  6. Dave- While your throwing some plugs in for Canon (1), I really think you should see if they just happened to have any extra copies of the Canon (2) 1200 mm F/5.6 lens. I'd really like to see what you could pull in with that massive lens. Canon (3) should really hook you up with one of those.