Capturing A Lady’s Color

American Lady butterfly (ventral) photographed by Jeff Zablow at the Butterflies and Blooms Habitat in Eatonton, GA

Friends have posted their images of American Ladies recently on Facebook. One of those posts ( was it Kelly Sandefur’s?  or Nancy Witthuhn’s? ) struck me, and I still remember that exceptional capture of the details of the Lady’s eye. I too enjoy the challenge of shooting out Ladies. They fly in at breakneck speed, nectar fiercely, and just as quickly as they arrived, are gone to a flowerhead not far away. You follow, they leave, and so on.

We’re here at the Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch, this my 2nd of 3 trips there this 2016. Painted Ladies ( Vanessa cardui ) were flying in good numbers, but this cousin of theirs, an American Lady ( Vanessa virginiensis ) was there also. I like the coincidence of this, Virginia pioneered this butterfly destination (irregardless of her modest protestations) and here we have this V. virginiensis reaping sugaries as a result.

Balanced on a Butterfly bush flowerhead, there was the challenge: Capture the busy colors of the ventral (lower) wing surfaces with the baby blue sky framing it all. I am mostly pleased with this, mostly. You?


5 thoughts on “Capturing A Lady’s Color

  1. to answer the question of the image pleasing? YES! almost glistening in glory as this lady (indeed) flits about under the summer sun …a joy to see with your capture bringing the season as well as the wings in this beautiful shot!


  2. Indeed a very pleasing shot. I did not capture any “Ladies” this butterfly season as all butterfly numbers were depressingly low here in the NE due to Appalachian drought this spring and summer.
    This is my idea of eye-candy that feeds the soul and renews the spirit. Thank you for sharing!


    • Monarchmama, May the coming year bring armies of butterflies to beautiful western New York State, and Monarchs by the battalion. And may Ladies abound, in town and around. Thanks for that ultimate Happy! thought, “Eye-candy.”


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