Agree or Disagree?

Years and years into photographing butterflies now, and you would think that I would be steadily approaching, well, saturation. If that makes sense to you, surprise! The challenges, opportunities and thinking continues, unabated, and not diminished. Here’s an example of a present new idea of mine.

I shot this exposure of an American Copper some years ago. When I light boxed the dozen or more images of it, I was very Happy with this one. Very. Some of you may think: I see things here that Jeff likes. Others of you may think: Why does this image stand out from the nearly 800 in wingedbeauty’s Media Library?

Me? I have always liked this share of the head. Michal has 2 Shih Tzus, and they used to refer to them as ‘pookies.’ Small, and very cute. Munchkin and Shnookie were, and are, even at 12 and 13 years. This head struck me at first sight as a ‘pookie.’ Eyes, palps and sweet antennae. The left wings, ventral sides, are clear, colorful and dramatically colored. Those wings are fresh and not bird-struck. The legs are nicely shared, and set in a way that pleases the eye. The plant stem that this Copper is standing on boasts those fascinating fibers over its length, and that stalk is set at a slight angle, adding personality to the image. The leaves toward the right of the image bear red borders/veins, further jazzing up the shot. Bonus to all is the background, a comely green, minty and persuasive to the eye.

Digging further, a Georgia friend recently shared that she had never yet seen an American Copper butterfly. As soon as she wrote that, my mind shot to this look, and that was the ‘seed’ that led to this very post. Thanks Nancy.

Sometime soon we will add a new Feature to, Jeff’s 8 (10?) Favorite Images. This should be amongst those 8 or 10, for how many times I’ve scrolled down the Library, and stopped to smile at this one.

Do you Agree or Disagree that this photo deserves broad exposure?


Why are Male Butterflies More Likely to Seek Minerals?

Eastern tailed blue photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

He’s our 2nd post of an Eastern-Tailed  Blue butterfly. Our first post offers a ventral (underside) wing of the wings.

Here the dorsal (upper) wing surface blares the fantastic blue of a fresh, healthy male ETB. Experts use the ‘ETB’ shortcut to identify individuals of this butterfly species.

About in June on a moist trail at Raccoon Creek State Park, he is taking up water and all of those minerals that we learned about on that beloved Periodic Table of Elements. Why are males more likely to be seeking minerals? Because males spend much of their day flying around searching for females. This extended flight time results in a good deal of protein wear and tear and . . . they’ll need fresh mineral caches to synthesize brand-new protein molecules (these elements are part of the make-up of different protein molecules).

Everes comyntas prefer trails and cut and disturbed areas and you’ll see them from April to late September. When disturbed they fly as short distance, close to the ground and set down perhaps 20 feet down trail.

The ladies don’t have blue above. Instead their dorsal wing color is gray.

How large are ETB’s? Tiny, about the width of your thumbnail. But . . . they’re pookies, perky, waif-like and pretty, especially their black and orange/red markings (see our other posting).

Where are they during February? They winter over as (eggs, papa, larva, adults). Which is it?


Little Copper Butterfly Bounding from Flowerhead to Flowerhead

American copper butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

It’s 26 degrees Farenheit outside now. I just returned from a very, very sad place. Oh, this morning we participated in an ‘informal assessment appeal’ to try to lower the abrupt, spiked (very spiked) increase in the 2012 real estate assessment on this house. This PM visit to that sad place, snow covered with deer tracks here and there and the plow coming along during my short stay (they agreed to come around again in 15, which was thoughtful)

Why this American Copper post? Well look at it. Tiny as it is, it is so . . . (do I use the word beautiful too much?) beautiful. Months will have to track by before these little Coppers will be bounding from flowerhead to flowerhead again, but what a treat to look forward to!

Most of us have days like this, happily all of us can hope to look forward to the time real soon when we can watch such little pookies springing from here to there, happily.

Please remind me to update this Post when winter ends,