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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Inspired by . . . Life thru My Lens 18:52

I’m calling this the butterfly edition.

It’s been an amazing week out-of-doors! So much going on, as jam-packed as this post is, it’s only a wee part of the whole. In other words, more to come!

These images don’t have the creamy backgrounds that I’m working to achieve with some of my manual camera settings, but in these cases, I’m more interested in sharing the subject matter with you than displaying the perfect image. Of course, there are those out there who can do both, but I’m not there yet {smile}.

These first shots are of our native Antelophorn Milkweed {asclepias asperula}.  We have a lot more if it this year, thankfully, and I’m hopeful to start seeing some Monarchs in the near future.

 

Antelope_horn_milkweed

 

These two darling butterflies are called Gray Hairstreaks {strymon melinus}. You can see how small they are next to the bee in this image. This milkweed attracts all sorts of insects.

Here is the beautiful Gray Hairstreak with it’s wings open.

 

Gray_Hairstreak_milkweed

 

This insect is a striking little fellow. Aptly named the Milkweed Bug {oncopeltus fasciatus}. The blooms on this milkweed and the one in the image above haven’t opened yet. Early diners!

 

Milkweed_bug

 

The giant thistle I shared about in last week’s post has finally opened and I was thrilled to find a Question Mark Butterfly {polygonia interrogationis} happily devouring the thistle’s nectar. These butterflies are not nearly as skittish as the Painted Lady’s and I was able to get some great shots.

 

Question_Mark_Butterfly

 

Why is it called a Question Mark butterfly? I’m glad you asked! Here is a shot of the under-wing. See the two white marks near the center of the lower wing? They resemble a sort of side-ways question mark. Hence the name!

 

QuestionMark_underside

 

If you only ever saw this butterfly with it’s wings closed, you’d never guess the beauty within. I’m including the image below so that you can see how easily they can blend in with leaves and grasses. He looks a lot different from the image above on the thistle, doesn’t he?

 

QuestionMarkButterfly

 

I have blue sage {salvia farinacea} in my front flower beds and I just love it! It comes back every year and produces a lot of blooms. Butterflies of all kinds love it’s nectar. This is a Horace’s Duskywing {erynnis horatius} which is in the Skipper family of butterflies. They are not as showy, but I welcome them just the same.

 

Horaces_Duskywing_Skipper

 

When the lantana is blooming, it’s the nectar of choice for most butterflies, but right now, the coneflower is the big attraction. This is a Painted Lady {vanessa cardui} and they are out in abundance right now!  Did you notice the small praying mantis on the petal below the butterfly?

 

PaintedLady_coneflower_kk_carmel

kk_carmel

 

The real show-stopper this week was the Red Admiral {vanessa atalanta}. This guy just couldn’t get enough of the coneflower’s sweet nectar, and I couldn’t get enough of him!

 

Red_Admiral_Butterfly

 

Even his under-wing is colorful!

 

RedAdmiral_Coneflower

 

When he was done with the coneflower, he moved to the blue sage!

 

RedAdmiral_bluesage

 

It’s a little harder to navigate!  I love this shot {below} because it shows his proboscis curled up! You can call it his tongue if you like!

 

RedAdmiral_curled_proboscis

 

Parting shot . . .

 

RedAdmiral_headon

 

Wow, they take my breath away. You ?

With all the new I’ve experienced this year, mostly sad and unwelcome occurrences, the butterfly reminds me that, “without change, there wouldn’t be butterflies.” Without change, much of the beauty in our world, and in ourselves, would not exist. And the coming of spring reminds me that there are two faces to new.

Although, in life, we must experience both, the face I’m choosing to embrace is the one of new life, and JOY.

 

What does your week look like?

Blessings,

June

 

 

Sharing inspiration here:

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Saturday's Critters_2 Kim Klassen {dot com}

6 comments:

  1. Wow, gorgeous collection of butterflies. They are so pretty..

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  2. Such beautiful butterflies! Your last image is stunning!

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  3. What a fabulous collection of butterflies and flowers! So glad I stopped by.

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  4. Oh my, June - you do capture the most beautiful images! I love these pretty butterflies, and I love that they *posed* long enough for you to capture them on film! Spring is such a lovely season - it just feels like the world is starting to "wake up." We had some much-needed rain on Saturday, but now the sun is shining brightly and it's warming up! God is good!


    GOD BLESS!

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  5. Butterflies... Some of them we have here, some of them new for me.
    So beautiful! Liked your photos a lot! :-) ♥
    http://tillklippt.blogspot.se/

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  6. You know, if learning in school would have captivated me like you have here… things might have turned out a whole lot different! Wonderful pictures and lessons. I was thinking of you when I took a picture of a hummingbird a few days ago… course my camera and moving hand don't begin to do them justice.


    Praying for you and yours in your time of trials.

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If you read something here that inspired you, I’d love to hear about it. Please know I appreciate every comment! Thanks so much for stopping by! Blessings, June