There are butterflies that I’ve now seen hundreds and thousands of. I’m near embarrassed to admit that I no longer pursue them, for my Neumade slide cabinet (a gift from a friend in Pittsburgh) has strong photographic images of them.
Know too that there are butterflies that I’ve seen dozens of, give or take, and that I still rush to go after. Why? Because though I have images of them, I believe that there will come along a fresh one, and I want an even better photograph.
Here’s one that I will jump up from a crouch, from shooting others, to rush to score an image of. The Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) appears without fanfare, usually lingers for moments, and then speeds away. I have seen several over the years that just stunned me, they so vividly colored, so gorgeous (this word here correctly chosen). My careful, patented, robotic approach near always was futile, with the stunner gone before I could close the Macro-distance to it.
This one here is a tad worn, but so reminds of what I had hoped it might be. The Fuji Velvia film used here provides exactly how sweet it looked, real-time.
Raccoon Creek State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania (+/- 8 hours west of New York City).
Traffic here from guys under age 40? Light, I would say. So I’ll share the thought. Here in Doak Field, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, on September 5th, this sizable Great Spangled Butterfly was now out from the woods, and she wanted to warm her wings in the early morning sunlight. That quick mental tug-of-war resolved, I decided to work to capture yet another image of these huge Fritillaries, and hopefully . . . best those that I already have in my Neumade slide cabinet.
Fort Dix, New Jersey and Fort Sill, Oklahoma got me into shining my boots daily, a habit that I have now relaxed into a weekly chore. I have always loved rich chocolate brown leather shoes, and used to love my chocolate brown suits, but they have long slipped into “No one wears them anymore-ville.” Also, I’m guessing that men under 40 don’t shine their shoes and perhaps never did.
Our Speyeria Cybele totally evokes my shoe shining rituals. Could it be that rich brown that triggers that wired thought? Butterflies all evoke thoughts and snippets of memory for me. Do they for you, too?
She’s about the same as you’d see her in Eatonton, Georgia or Crockett, Virginia, as well as up in Maine and usually down to the Western sides of both North and South Carolina. (Cech and Tudor, Butterflies of the East Coast).
I thought that it was too late in the season to meet up with the Satyr butterfly, but here we are together, on an August 2014 morning. They are sooo predictable, flying just above ground, just where forest meet trail. They almost never fly onto the trail, always moving along the outer tree line.
When you see Megisto Cymela and you’re like me, camera at the ready, there’s that predictable debate = Jeff (to myself), you already have several good images of this satyr, save your film (Fuji slide, ASA 50 or in this case ASA 100). You see the result, the boy in me wants to capture those eye spots, besting any in the slides in my Neumade slide cabinet.
Time to vote? OK, Yes, I love this butterfly. It’s brown reminds me of the delicious hat store I used to frequent on Madison Avenue in NYC, in an earlier life. You know those eye spots transfix me. Thirdly, this is a very comely butterfly. Guilty as charged, magistrate.
Cech and Tudor, in their superb Butterflies of the East Coast, share a happy bit of new, that Little Wood Satyrs are “a successful species.” Good news that, no?