Karma's When I Feel Like It Blog

July 23, 2010


The butterfly bushes in my yard have gotten quite large this year and they have become the spot for meeting visitors to my yard, including the elusive hummingbird, who has been taunting me on a fairly regular basis now.  Lucky for me, butterflies seem to be happier to hang around and pose for a few pictures!  While I’m still waiting for a traditional monarch shot, I’ve gotten a few other interesting pictures, starting with the Great Spangled Frillitary a few weeks ago.

After the GSF, my next visitor to stay for a portrait was a Tiger Swallowtail:



It stayed around long enough for me to take a bunch of shots.  These were my three favorites.  I don’t remember how much I was thinking about the white balance and exposure compensation and ISO this day;  I just remember excitedly clicking away.  Is it just me, or is there something about dSLR’s that makes you just want to shoot again and again and again?  Maybe its because I’m new to them. 

 On this same day, another critter that I discovered for the first time only two years ago, appeared for a sip at the butterfly bush.  Its called a hummingbird moth.  Have you ever seen one of these before?



They are the size of a moth, sip from flowers like butterflies, and have wings that move as fast as, and allow them to hover like hummingbirds.

I danced around the butterfly bushes and the deck taking photo after photo of this fast-moving Pipevine Swallowtail.  It would land, I would focus, it would move.  I went up and down the deck stairs, to the tops and the bottoms of the butterfly bush chasing this butterfly around hoping for a nice shot.  Its movement was quite erratic and the wings rarely stopped moving so I found it challenging, but ended up with a few shots to share:

After I chased it around for a while, and realized it seemed happy to feed at my bushes for a while, it dawned on me, uh, Karen, why not try a fast shutter speed?  Oh yeah, I can do that easily now…

Stop-action on those crazy fast wings!  Yahoo! 

While this last one isn’t perfectly focused, I thought it had a bit of a moody, “artsy” feel to it with the edges of the wings in focus, the body blurred and the blue sky background:

I’m still hoping that my camera-shy hummingbird will make an appearance one of these days while I am outside with the camera at the ready, but for now I’m happy that at least the butterflies gave me the time of day!