Friday, June 20, 2014

A Damsel

 Once again, I am reminded that my skill at manipulating the order of images and text on this blog is very undeveloped.  Yesterday (6/20), I posted what is now the fourth photo in this group, along with the text below it, with the promise of adding several photos of flying things, now the first three photos.  Oh, well.  My skill at finding photogenic subjects in nature is pretty good I think.  The above photo is of a Showy Milkweed, Asclepias speciosa, found along the paved road leading into Oakland Camp.  It's on the left around 100 yards before the green entrance gate.  I couple of summers ago this very milkweed was knocked over and had a severely damaged stem.  I propped it up with a pile of small rocks, and it finished out the season with several large clusters of blossoms which played host to a great variety of insects and spiders.  The plant came back for a healthy 2013 season, and it's doing fine now.  Somewhere in my collection of photos from this past week I have one of a Monarch Butterfly and a Carpenter Bee apparently fighting for access to the same blossoms.  Click on the photo for a better view of the butterfly and the flower's details.
 I believe this is the Pale Swallowtail resting and dining on the Western Pennyroyal.    It took around 20 shots before I got one with the wings fully spread.  I was only around three feet away, so this was not shot with a telephoto lens. 
The above photo is a Fritillary, I believe, and I managed to get a shot of it coming in for a landing.  Note the shadow it's casting on the ground.  This one was landing on nearby Spreading Dogbane where it would alight one one flower after another continually for many minutes.  I always watch as long as possible because there's a high probability that on one of these blossoms it will get nabbed by a Goldenrod Crab Spider.
Now we're back to the text I wrote for the original post:
I didn't use a telephoto here, just a standard 55mm lens.  Out by Gilson Creek, a mile past Oakland Camp, I practiced my quiet approach and got within a foot of this Damselfly.  Later I got some nice close-ups of Swallowtail butterflies and Monarchs, including a caterpillar.  Will post those later, along with flowers of the day.

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