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.
American Painted Lady Butterfly, 140mm, m43 format
During our visit to Longwood Gardens, I found this Painted Lady Butterfly flitting around from plant to plant. It stayed in the general area for about 15 minutes before it moved on, giving me quite a few great photo opportunities. Here are just a couple.
I was by the plants along the edge of Gull Pond looking for Dragonflies at the Brigantine Division of the Edwin B. Forsythe NWR in Oceanville, NJ. I noticed the Painted Lady on the yellow wildflowers, thinking the orange of the butterfly worked with the yellow wildflowers and was trying to get an interesting shot. Then I noticed the smaller insect with similar colors on the same plant. It is an Ailanthus Webworm Moth. I waited and tried to get them both in a pleasing close composition. I was handholding my Canon 400mm DO with a 1.4X Teleconverter, with extension tubes, so it was tough to get them both in focus with the distance between them. With all the extension tubes, I had to raise my ISO to 1000, and I chose an aperture of f/9 with a shutter speed of 1/640 to get the most depth of field and still maintain a soft look on the rest of the plant, so your eye goes to the insects. Being patient did not pay off this time because the Painted Lady went behind the plant and then flew off, but I am still pleased with what I captured and had fun working the shot.