Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly on a Moist, Overcast Morning in a Wooded Habitat

Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly

It rained the last night and the morning sun just rose a short while ago. Perfect conditions for our Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly, basking in those warm rays of the sun. They prefer it when it is moist and that’s why you usually find them close to moving water. We discussed in an earlier post that this is one of the few species that is active on moist, overcast days.

Enodia anthedon prefers wooded habitat, so we see that this is one that will be an infrequent addition to your image inventory. It takes lots of get-up-and-go to go out with a camera on a moist, overcast morning and then spend appreciable time in wooded habitat that are filled with lots of biting critters and the rarely seen Northern Pearly-Eye. This is a butterfly which flees like a lightning bolt when it sees, hears or smells you.

So, this image is appreciated.

Our earlier post of this species likens it to Secret Service operatives. We have once again reminded you why this is so true. It never seems to nectar at wildflowers. What does it subsist on? Flowing sap, scat and the minerals taken up from mud.


What Kind of Skipper Butterfly Do You Think this is?

Skipper Butterfly at Asheville, NC

Of course there is no such species of skipper butterflies. There are many, many species of skippers in the southeastern United States. This nifty example crossed our path in Asheville, North Carolina.

A large skipper, it’s dorsal and ventral wing surfaces can be seen in this image. Asheville was a beautiful city and was home to many, many photogenic butterflies.

Your help in identifying this butterfly is requested.


Small White Butterfly in Ramat Hanadiv’s Perennial Flower Beds

Small White Butterfly photographed in Ramat Hanadiv by Jeffrey Zablow

It was July 9th, although Artogeia rapae leucosoma flies throughout the northern 2/3 of Israel throughout the year. They are very common in Tel Aviv as well as in Jerusalem.

This little white butterfly was methodically nectaring in the perennial beds of Ramat Hanadiv, well before 11 AM. My limited experience with Small whites notes that they are easier to approach than the Cabbage whites in North America. They fly more slowly also. This is truer of the populations outside of cities. The Small whites in cities fly faster.

Our female here was appreciated because her appearance filled in the intervals between larger butterflies with more pizzaz.


A Male Cleopatra Butterfly Cooperating for My Camera

Cleopatra Butterfly at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel

A speedster, this Cleopatra butterfly has taken a moment to rest. It’s July 9th at Ramat Hanadiv, Israel. This verdant arboretum is a wonderful place to seek butterflies. The staff is friendly and encouraging.

Gonepteryx cleopatra are among the most difficult butterflies to approach and to photograph.  Our male here cooperated and allowed a few clicks of the camera lens. They fly most of the year. The are found in Jerusalem and north to the Golan. Those in Jerusalem never afforded me enough time to set-up for good results.

Their elusiveness set a real challenge for me. I offer this image as my best to-date.


Photographing Spicebush Swallowtail Butterflies is a Challenge

Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly at Rector, PA

The time is now. Spicebush Swallowtails are feasting on Swamp Milkweed, also called Asclepias incarnata flower clusters. Wings fluttering furiously. Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. Number of butterfly species seen there to date? 62.

Photographing Spicebush butterflies on wildflowers is a challenge. They move incessantly. We must wait for good positioning, prepare fast shutter speeds as I was shooting manually, using slide film. Then I make that slow-mo approach. Once the left knee rests safely on the ground, less than 3′ from the butterfly. We’ve not lost the opportunity, then it’s shoot, shoot, shoot, shoot. If it’s a fresh one, like this one, we may shoot 40-50 exposures.

Papilio troilus is a fast flier and most often seen flying 7′ – 10′ above the ground, often along trails or through forest. Less well know then other swallowtails, Spicebush deserve more, for they are flying gems. Flying gems.

I saw one this morning as I was watering the petunias, day lilies and roses in our front garden. How beautiful are they?