The Sky Blue Eyespots of a Wood Nymph Butterfly

Wood nymph butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Years have passed since I happened onto Wood Nymph butterflies with sky blue eyespots. Those were at Raystown Lake in central Pennsylvania. They were speedsters and hid as soon as approached = no images!

I’ve sought images of Wood Nymph butterflies that are fresh and show sky-blue eyespots.

Not so easy to secure. They prefer trails at forest edges, especially with high grass fields adjacent. The fresh ones are gone in an instant, the worn ones, well they’re no longer striking brown, yellow yellow or baby-blue.

So here we have all of the above.

We haven’t posted an image of this butterfly with its wings fully opened because. they rarely bask in the morning sun and open their wings for nanoseconds at a time. I’ve been on the look-out for Wood Nymphs resting with wings open. Ten years later, I’m still looking.


As Beautiful as any Fine Jewelry, a Variegated Fritillary Butterfly

Variegated fritillary butterfly photographed at Black Water National Wildlife Refuge, MD

It’s early afternoon at Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge in Cambridge, Maryland. As a rule I only photograph in the morning. I try to quit by 11 A.M., before the sun overhead denies my images of all of the creases and shadows that make an image memorable.

But there I was at Blackwater, and it was teeming with fresh butterflies of many different species. So there I was on October 6th. I had lots of water and so I violated my own working rules = don’t photograph after 11:30 A.M and stop when it gets hot. So I shot away!

Euptoieta claudia so reminds me of why I enjoy doing what I do. It is as beautiful as any fine jewelry produced by the finest jewelry designers. When I’m 12″ away and see what you’re seeing, it’s uplifting. Yes it is.

And like magnificent jewelryyou see ityou admire it . . . and then it’s gone.


A Large Nosed American Snout Butterfly

American snout butterfly photographed at White Tank Moutain Regional Park, AZ

When you first see an American Snout butterfly you stare at that shnoz! After a moment that thought is forgotten and that’s it, you’ve seen your first American Snout.

This one is busy nectaring in its home habitat, the White Tank Mountains just west of Phoenix. They are found throughout much of the US, though.

A quick flyer, Libytheana bachmanii flee when you approach, but go only a short distance. That’s a boon to observing and photographing them.

Look closely and you’ll see the rich colors of their wings.


Monarch Butterfly with a Torn Hole in its Wing

Monarch butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

One of my most prized images! She is feasting on teasel flowers and she is fine, so fine!

But what’s happened to her right hindwing? Something, some animal has torn a sizable hole in it.

I’ve gone through challenges in my life and had begun bucking myself up for a family health crisis at the time. This photo came to stick in my mind as ‘Life is tough.’

Our monarch butterfly is so exquisite and yet is now no longer near perfect.

Ponder this. How long will it take for our Monarch to repair this wing tear?

Enchanted by the Wash of Colors Displayed on Swallowtail Butterfly Wings

Eastern black swallowtail butterfly photographed at Phipps Conservatory Outdoor Gardens, Pittsburgh, PA

You know by now that I am enchanted by the wash of colors displayed on swallowtail wings.

This Eastern Black Swallowtail Butterfly (EBSB) was such a treat to see. Papilio polyxenex are not the largest of our northeastern swallowtails, but they certainly, as she reveals, among our most strikingly beautiful.

Gracefully flying from zinnia flower to the next, I wanted to capture that colorful palette. These zinnias are planted in large flower beds in May. There is little insect activity at their flowers until some time in June. Then, suddenly they begin producing nectar generously, and butterlifes flock to them. Through late September they continue to pump out nutrient -rich nectar. Impressive. Very impressive.

Where are they now? They overwinter as pupae, hidden amongst the leaf litter.

Continue enjoying these butterflies when you go to our other EBSB posts.