More Assorted Butterflies

The last of the Butterfly images for this year. They closed their Butterfly exhibit at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park and removed the coverings on their butterfly house, releasing all the butterflies a few weeks ago to migrate. These were the last few we photographed before they moved on. It took me a while to work on posting these but finally got to them.

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American Painted Lady Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Painted Lady Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Monarch Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Buckeye Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Monarch Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Monarch Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Monarch Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Monarch Butterfly, 140mm m43 format

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Monarch Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format

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Painted Lady, @ 140mm m43 format

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Painted Lady, @ 140mm m43 format

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Monarch, @ 140mm m43 format

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Monarch, @ 140mm m43 format

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Monarch, @ 140mm m43 format

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Cabbage White, @ 140mm m43 format

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Painted Lady – @ 140mm m43 Format

Buckeye Butterfly @ Plainsbore Preserve

While we were looking for photo subjects at Plainsboro Preserve, I spotted this Buckeye Butterfly working this flower. The Butterflies and Dragonflies all seem to have a look of wear & tear now this time of year. But it is still fun to get some photos. I was using a Canon 400mm f/4 DO lens with an extension tube for closer focusing. This Buckeye had quite a bit of wing damage.

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Yellow Swallowtail Butterfly

Continuing with the previous post with butterflies, here is a Yellow Swallowtail series of images taken at the same time as the previous post. We have not seen as many butterflies this year as previous years. Even though at this park they have a Butterfly House and raise them to release them in the park. Plus the butterfly house has plantings around the Butterfly house to attract other butterflies. In previous years they were very abundant throughout the Park. Even Dragonflies seem to be more scarce this year at this Park also. Time is marching on and the Butterflies you see show considerable wear and tear. The Butterfly series shown below really liked this plant and stayed for about 10 minutes. I only picked a few of the images of that series to post here.

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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

We went to a local park to look for Dragonflies, but I noticed this Black Swallowtail Butterfly on some flowers by the pond on the way in. It looked colorful with the flowers and I liked the contrast of the dark colored butterfly against the flowers.

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Cabbage White

Butterfly and dragonfly season is ending, but I am still finding a few still around for some last images to capture. The featured Cabbage White was on a bush near where a Monarch was feeding.

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More Monarchs

Butterfly season and Summer are coming to an end. The butterflies and dragonflies are starting to look the worse for wear. Wings are starting to look more tattered and pieces are missing. These were taken at Davidson’s Mill Pond Park outside the butterfly house that is now closed. This year with work and the weather not cooperating I never shot inside the butterfly house, but I enjoy getting shots where they are not in a controlled environment anyway. I like the look and challenge of a natural environment to capture my images instead of a “zoo” like environment.

Monarch_v2_43G7762With the wind blowing them and the branch all around and their constant movement I was surprised I got some sharp images. I was not stopped down much so I sacrificed depth of field for a higher shutter speed to help stop blur from the butterfly blowing around in the wind.

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Monarch Butterfly Portraits

It is interesting to see and photograph Monarchs feeding on a plant. But after photographing them for years I never realized their amazing full life cycle. You know they go through the different stages, caterpillars thru to butterflies, but I did not realize how many stages they have.

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The following info is from www.learnaboutnature.com

The Photos are PhotoArtFlight Images.

The Life  Cycle(s) of a Monarch Butterfly

Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. It’s a little confusing but keep reading and you will understand. The four stages of the monarch butterfly life cyclebutterfly are the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The four generations are actually four different butterflies going through these four stages during one year until it is time to start over again with stage one and generation one.

In February and March, the final generation of hibernating monarch butterflies comes out of hibernation to find a mate. They then migrate north and east in order to find a place to lay their eggs. This starts stage one and generation one of the new year for the monarch butterfly.

In March and April the eggs are laid on milkweed plants. They hatch into baby caterpillars, also called the larvae. It takes about four days for the eggs to hatch. Then the baby caterpillar doesn’t do much more than eat the milkweed in order to grow. After about two weeks, the caterpillar will be fully-grown and find a place to attach itself so that it can start the process of metamorphosis. It will attach itself to a stem or a leaf using silk and transform into a chrysalis. Although, from the outside, the 10 days of the chrysalis phase seems to be a time when nothing is happening, it is really a time of rapid change. Within the chrysalis the old body parts of the caterpillar are undergoing a remarkable transformation, called metamorphosis, to become the beautiful parts that make up the butterfly that will emerge. The monarch butterfly will emerge from the pupa and fly away, feeding on flowers and just enjoying the short life it has left, which is only about two to six weeks. This first generation monarch butterfly will then die after laying eggs for generation number two.

The second generation of monarch butterflies is born in May and June, and then the third generation will be born in July and August. These monarch butterflies will go through exactly the same four stage life cycle as the first generation did, dying two to six weeks after it becomes a beautiful monarch butterfly.

The fourth generation of monarch butterflies is a little bit different than the first three generations. The fourth generation is born in September and October and goes through exactly the same process as the first, second and third generations except for one part. The fourth generation of monarch butterflies does not die after two to six weeks. Instead, this generation of monarchs migrates to warmer climates like Mexico and California and will live for six to eight months until it is time to start the whole process over again.

It is amazing how the four generations of monarch butterflies works out so that the monarch population can continue to live on throughout the years, but not become overpopulated. Mother Nature sure has some cool ways of doing things, doesn’t she?

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