Posted on July 6, 2021
I was looking for Dragonflies to photograph at the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge near Cambridge Maryland, but came across this Monarch Butterfly on this Buttonbush plant. I was using a 400mm DO lens with a 1.4x Teleconverter on a Canon 1DmkIV. I thought it looked interesting hanging upside down on the spherical pincushion blossoms. They are composed of dense clusters of tiny white tubular flowers. Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis) is often lauded for its utility rather than its beauty. Its commercial introduction in 1735 was primarily for beekeepers (hence, its other common name of honey-bells), who cultivated this deciduous shrub as a pollen and nectar resource for honeybees. This wetland shrub can be found in low-lying areas, swamps, marshes, bogs, and wetlands, and along the edges of ponds, streams, and rivers. It is often used to develop and restore wetlands, control erosion in riparian areas, and create wildlife habitats.
Category: Blackwater NWR, Blackwater NWR, Cambridge MD, Blog, Butterfly, Butterflys, Favorite Locations, Insects, Monarch butterfly, Nature Still Lifes Tagged: blackwater National Wildlife refuge, Blackwater NWR, Butterfly, Buttonbush, Canon 400 f/4 DO lens, canon 400mm f/4 DO, Canon Series III 1.4X Teleconverter, Monarch, Monarch butterfly
Posted on August 6, 2020
I was out in the yard looking for macro subjects after the Tropical Storm Isaias. In our community we had a few large branches come down from the strong winds, but nothing too major from what we saw during an early morning walk. We did not loose power, but 40% of our town lost power and close by towns were without power. Apparently it will take days for all power to be up again. A lot of the roads are closed and takes hours to try to get anywhere. Even close by stores are probably without power also, from what neighbors said that tried.
In the yard we found a Banded Hairstreak Butterfly in a Dwarf Alberta Spruce by our front door. I was able to get a few images before it disappeared in the Alberta Spruce. I was using a Sigma 150mm macro with a Canon 2x teleconverter.
Posted on June 23, 2020
Here is a Correction on the ID of the Butterflies. Sorry about that! Thanks to those who brought it to my attention!! More Butterfly images. I am using the same post processing as some previous posts for smoother backgrounds. Again all these are shot with an Olympus m43 Camera with a Panasonic 14-140mm lens @ 140mm. This (sort of) gives you the field of view of 280mm on a full frame camera. Many times when we are just going for a walk, I take an m43 Olympus or Panasonic camera instead of my standard larger Canons. A lot easier to carry for a walk. They do seem to have more noise than the Canons, but easy to remove.
Posted on April 28, 2020
These were taken years ago at my pond in our old yard. I did not realize that when we removed a 20×40 ft pool and put in a large pond it would turn into my outdoor Macro & Wildlife Studio. Got lots of interesting images there. Also got to try many different techniques to photograph small subjects across the pond.
Posted on October 7, 2019
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.
Posted on September 5, 2019
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.
Posted on August 31, 2019
While we were looking for Dragonflies at Plainsboro Preserve I noticed this Red-Spotted Purple butterfly warming on the ground. I was using a close focusing 300mm f/4 lens with a 2X teleconverter so I could get closer images of distant insect subjects (usually Dragonflies) so I manually focused on 3 different areas to blend them into 1 sharp image in Photoshop. Using f/4 for my f/stop (with a 2X teleconverter it is actually f/8 then with the 2X teleconverter giving a 600mm focal length) and focused on middle body, then antennas and lastly rear wing edge. I used to mainly use a 1.4X teleconverter for this type of shooting but the Canon R files are extremely clean even at much higher ISO’s so the 2X gives me more working distance. Then used Photoshop to blend the sharpest areas automatically into 1 merged image. Photoshop usually does a good job on this, but here in there I might also do some manual editing to what Photoshop does. To bad it is getting late in the season for butterflies & insects. They are beginning to show signs of wear. Especially the Dragonflies!
Category: Blog, Favorite Locations, Insects, Panorama & Stacked Images, Plainsboro Preserve, Tips & Techniques Tagged: Audubon Plainsboro Preserve, Butterfly, Butterflys, canon 300mm f/4 IS lens, canon R camera, Canon Series 2X teleconverter, image blending, image focus stacking, Image Stacking, image stacking wit photoshop cc, Plainsboro Preserve, Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly
Posted on August 14, 2019
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.
Posted on September 9, 2018
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.
Posted on August 30, 2018
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.
The following info is from www.learnaboutnature.com
The Photos are PhotoArtFlight Images.
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?