Bugs and Blooms!

Right before the rains hit, but before the term was really over, I slipped out to the local park and got a few pictures. It was a bit dark, so not the best picture taking time — and I learned that even if my lens was technically capable of shooting at a super-wide aperture, well… that doesn’t always give the most fantastic results!

Still learning, here. Work in progress.

DSC_0210

Does anyone know what the moth above is? I’m thinking it’s a “Pale Beauty.” I haven’t worked much with moths; normally I’m not shooting that late. But this one was striking against all the rich new green.

Pearl crescent butterfly; he teased me all through the clover underneath the trees until it was too shadowy to get a decent picture, and only then did he alight for a quick moment.

Happy spring!

Skipper on a Bloom

20170416_131522It’s been a rough spring for flower pictures, to be sure! Torrential rain, late freezes, and gusty winds stripped scraps of white and pink from the trees, and if it wasn’t snowing stinging flakes of ice, it was snowing petals.

But then on Easter Sunday I ran into a little tree in a park in a protected corner, and then bemused several visitors by chasing around it in dizzingly little circles. I wasn’t really prepared to go shoot butterflies that day, so the picture quality is not the best.

Butterfly photography to me is a weird mix of the childish and the mature. I get a lot of odd looks when someone says “she is very into taking pictures of butterflies.” Chasing them at times does seem to be the most childish of hobbies, but it is so enjoyable. I often lament that many seem to feel doing things that are innocent fun and then loving it is childish; standing on one’s dignity only for the sake of appearing to be “adult” is so limiting. Stand on tiptoes, chase a butterfly, blow bubbles! And along the way, reach what you need, promote awareness of the role of pollinators and learn about photography, and expand your lung capacity to really handle those long melismas for an important performance. Even though the picture quality isn’t what I wanted, it was still a wonderful moment.

20170416_131451

 

 

Spring!

Somehow the first greening gold happened, in that glimmering way it does, and flitted by while I was recovering from a procedure. Warm soft breezes are alternating with rain like puppy teeth, needle sharp and bitey.

20170325_130615

Butthe butterflies are back! Cabbage whites are actually the abbreviated flirty white blurs in the corners of this raggedy expanse of green, which will be knee-deep in wildflower blooms – and chest-deep in spiny thistles! – in bare weeks. Coyly, they refused to come near and hold still for a picture. Next time. Spring is here!

 

Magic Monarchs

I remember the butterfly trees near my home. We’d walk through a forest on a silent trail, all sand and shredded bark. The air was Vicks Vapor-Rub and sea foam, sharp and clean. And then the sunlight would strike a tree and a breeze would ruffle leaves, leaves that unfurled into fluttering wings, magic shimmering in a gold beam, rustling drily. Then the sun would go behind the curtain of fog, the breeze would die down, and all was silent in the forest again. The butterfly trees. Find one someday if you can.

Migrating Monarchs Arrive in Mexico

 

 

Adaptations II

dsc_0180

I’m just a bit of bark. Nothing to see here, folks.

Adaptations. Butterflies adapt. Moths change color to match that of the bark. It means… survival. Survival isn’t always glamorous. But it IS life. That’s important. A few of my favorite adaptations…

Yogurt (especially Greek Gods Honey) is a gift from the gods. I’d like to think this IS an adaptation… but yogurt is so fast and portable that it’s pretty much been part of my life since I started college. I used to eat a lot more adventurous stuff besides yogurt of course, but hey, now I’m exploring all the flavors that are in that section of the store. And thankfully, there’s a lot.

Social events are really “optional.” And when I plan an event, it’s on a different timetable now, an adapted timetable that revolves around naps and medications and times when I can have a backup ride or a place to stay if everything goes wrong.

Hot tubs and heating pads are the best. No argument. And no, sadly, a friend’s extra large washing machine should not double as a hot tub. Even if the jets and whirlpool features are top-of-the-line. 🙂

Tablets with ebooks, .pdf articles and/or homework assignments Are. Marvelous. Period.  Fast, portable, lightweight, permissible in a lot of environments (like hospitals), and easier to manage when I can’t move my arms that much or handle turning pages.

Tear-free shampoo. I’m not the most coordinated individual. I always get shampoo in my eyes. Now though, I am sometimes too weak to take a shower without sitting down abruptly in the middle of it, or I’m too dizzy to avoid sliming the stuff all over my face, or I need someone else’s help to wash my pixie. Welcome to the baby shampoo aisle, where there are a million different scents, many of which are nice on skin reacting to meds, are soothing for nerves frayed by doctor’s visits, and are advertised as helping even the most stubborn of babies go down for a nightly … well, let’s face it, nap. But maybe a longer one. 😀

 

 

 

 

Eastern Comma

dsc_0196Unexpectedly, magically, a piece of bark or a bit of dead brown leaf suddenly comes to life, brilliant orange soaring against the gentle breeze, and then just as suddenly disappears.

dsc_0171

I casually squiggle behind a sign, army-crawl over dusty dirt, fold myself in a gap between two boulders, and angle my camera as the butterfly equally casually flits its wings twice, circles my head, and heads the opposite direction, up a 45-degree slope and back into the sun-dappled woods. More appear near the state park’s open lawn, though, sampling the dirt.

dsc_0180

They’re the first commas I’ve taken a picture of, and unfortunately I was experimenting with a new lens filter. I didn’t realize until after I made it home and looked at the shots that one of the reasons I might have been fighting so hard to pull things into focus was more than just exhaustion and vertigo… the lens protector might just not be the best. A lot of my shots from that day have a very odd distortion pattern. Combine that with a tad too shallow depth of field, and some are really carnival-esque shots.

dsc_0165

Yes, there is a butterfly in this photograph!

A fantastic butterfly day, a bad photography day — one of a long run for me! Anyone else have a hard time with UV filters or lens protectors? Any recommends?