Hello II, from this…to…

Posted by
karla (Omaha, United States) on 9 March 2011 in Animal & Insect and Portfolio.

This butterfly, known to me unscientifically as a brown skipper (see below for scientific name), was very busy sipping nectar from a Sedum spectabile in my garden. As I photographed, I moved slowly closer and closer, carefully to not threaten, so it would not fly away. As I moved closer, the skipper rotated slowly as it sipped, each move looking as if it would dash away. Finally, in the viewfinder I saw a huge head with a long snout! It had turned completely around, with its rear toward the lens. I could never have anticipated those markings! Nature has such creativity when adapting coloring and shape for defense. A small adventure in the garden brought surprise , humor and learning. I believe this is a male Sachem skipper Atalopedes campestris, as seen at http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Butterflies. Size is 1 1/4 - 1 5/8 inches (3.2 - 4.2 cm). Habitat is open, disturbed sites such as roadsides, meadows, and yards. Adult food is nectar from a variety of flowers. Caterpillar food is within shorter grasses, including "crabgrass". Since crabgrass is in pretty good supply, this butterfly has good habitat!

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Anita from West Nottingham, United States

What fun! Your patience payed off.

9 Mar 2011 10:31am

@Anita: Hi Anita, yes it did. I had been chasing one of these for a while, hoping to get a better macro. Finally this one settled down on the flower head and I moved in. I like photographing the insects almost as much as photographing the flowers. Sometimes the insects show themselves only after I have downloaded the image to the computer.

Stefan from Thiersee, Austria

Beautiful collage, well done!

9 Mar 2011 12:13pm

@Stefan: Thanks, Stefan! Thanks for visiting here and commenting.

Don from Spokane, United States

A fine close up of this interesting sequence. Well done.

9 Mar 2011 3:47pm

@Don: Thanks, Don! It took awhile, but I finally accomplished it.

Ronnie 2¢ from Atlantic Shores, United Kingdom

Nature can give us some wonderful rewards if only we stop to look . . your patience sure paid off here !

9 Mar 2011 4:31pm

@Ronnie 2¢: So true, Ronnie, about the rewards!

Franz from Baden, Austria

a stunning series with an equally stunning end result! terrific!

9 Mar 2011 6:11pm

@Franz: Thanks, Franz!!!

Arnd from Basel, Switzerland

I enjoyed both, your narrative about your encounter with this fascinating butterfly and the accompanying photo sequence. Thanks for sharing!

9 Mar 2011 11:58pm

@Arnd: Thanks, Arnd!

Thea from Leeuwarden, Netherlands

Your story sounds very familiar to me:) And a double feast you must have with these
results..beautiful shots!

10 Mar 2011 12:52pm

@Thea: Thanks very much, Thea!

Barbara Kile from Ft. Worth, United States

Taking advantage of a great opportunity!

12 Mar 2011 5:31pm

Marilla from Turku, Finland

Nice macros! I like the last one, it has an original angle...

13 Mar 2011 9:18am

@Marilla: Thanks! It is interesting how insects can look very different from other angles, all part of their defensive coloring to ward off those who like to eat them.