Category Archives: garden

Common Buckeye

common buckeye 2 2017

Thought I would share another great butterfly from southern Indiana, the Common Buckeye, photographed at Big Oaks NWR near Madison Indiana. Maybe the most beautiful butterfly that inhabits our area and certainly one of my favorite.

According to Wikipedia….

Junonia coenia, the common buckeye or buckeye, is a butterfly in the family Nymphalidae. It is found in southern Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia and all parts of the United States except the northwest, and is especially common in the south, the California coast, and throughout Central America ,Colombia & India .The subspecies Junonia coenia bergi is endemic to the island of Bermuda.

Its habitat is open areas with low vegetation and some bare ground. This species and its relatives were placed formerly in the genus Precis.

The bold pattern of eyespots and white bars on the upper wing surface is distinctive in much of its range, though compare related species in the same genus. These are mangrove buckeye (Junonia evarete) and tropical buckeye (Junonia genoveva), formerly considered one species, and the smoky buckeye (Junonia evarete). The eyespots likely serve to startle or distract predators, especially young birds. The species has many flights throughout the year, with mostly northward migrations for the summer. Much of the northern United States is only colonized in the fall from southern populations. Some of the later broods move southwards in the fall. Common buckeyes exhibit seasonal polyphenism, the summer version of the butterfly has light yellowish ventral wings and is called “linea”. The fall morph has pink ventral wings, and is called the “rosa” morph.

Adults feed on nectar and also take fluids from mud and damp sand. Males perch on bare ground or low plants, occasionally patrolling in search of females, but they are not territorial. The female lays eggs singly on buds or the upper side of leaves. The caterpillars are solitary and feed on the foliage, flowers, and fruits of the host plant. A variety of (typically) herbaceous plants are used, including especially plants in the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). These include snapdragon (Antirrhinum), toadflax (Linaria), and Gerardia. Caterpillars also feed on plants of the plantain family, such as Plantago; and the Acanthus family including ruellia (Ruellia nodiflora). Larvae feed singly. Adults and some larvae overwinter in southern areas. The pupa may not have a resting phase (diapause), as in many other butterflies.

Well that’s the description of this great butterfly hope you enjoyed the info and image, thanks for stopping by and taking a look.

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Monarch Sunset

monarchs 2 2017

Warm evening light bathes this beautiful Monarch Butterfly as it stops to rest and feed on its long journey to Mexico. Monarch butterflies perform annual migrations across North America which have been called “one of the most spectacular natural phenomena in the world”.

Starting in September and October, eastern and northeastern populations migrate from southern Canada and the United States to overwintering sites in central Mexico where they arrive around November. They start the return trip in March, arriving around July. No individual butterfly completes the entire round trip; female monarchs lay eggs for the next generation during the northward migration[2] and at least four generations are involved in the annual cycle.

Similarly, the western populations migrate annually between regions west of the Rocky Mountains including northern Canada and overwintering sites on the coast of California.

I captured this amazing specimen just south of the Big Oaks NWR near Madison Indiana the fields that surround that area have been planted in an wonderful assortment of native wildflowers and this year I have been blessed to capture some awesome images of the great variety that utilized the fields.

Hope you enjoy the image and thanks for visiting my blog !!

Butterfly Survey

It’s been my best year yet for butterfly photography and attending the butterfly survey at Big Oaks NWR was a definite highlight..
Joseph R. Robb made the experience not only a educational adventure but also guided us thru one of the most beautiful and diverse ecosystems in the midwest. My son and I cant thank him and all the others enough who volunteered their time to make it such a wonderful experience.
We counted 46 different species and a rough total of 1590 butterflies what a great day !!
Can’t wait till next year !!!

Wildflowers

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This slideshow is an example of just a few of the many wildflowers that I captured this year here in Jefferson County Indiana. They were all photographed in Clifty Falls State Park earlier this spring.

Some of the best wildflower displays I have ever witnessed came from our own backyard and if giving a chance you should get out and experience the wonderful natural diversity that this area has to offer.

Clifty Falls State Park, Splinter Ridge FWA and Big Oaks NWR are just a few places to go and view the beautiful display of wildflowers that inhabit our home.

Black-Eyed Susan

Continuing with my series of shots from my back yard here is a image I captured of a Black-Eyed Susan that I photographed one evening not too long ago. I was able to isolate the blooms against a new privacy fence my neighbors up the street constructed, the fence was made out of a warm wood and  with  the setting sun i couldn’t have asked for a better background for my subject.

I like to keep my backgrounds as soft and clutter free as possible and with the distance between the fence and my subject it worked out perfectly. The late evening light was just an added bonus to my final image the warmth in the flower and the soft warm evening light played off each other nicely and helped contribute to this strong image.

Never been a huge fan of Black-Eyed Susan’s but I felt this image was the best one of this lovely perennial that I have ever attempted. It has been a great year for flowers here in Madison Indiana, the weather has been perfect and with all the great subjects I am getting some really nice work for my portfolio, thanks for stopping by and taking a look at my photography!!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                               bes 1 2013

 

 

 

BackYard Flowers…Forget-Me-Knot

I spend hour after hour and travel many miles to bring you my photographs of the array of wonderful wildflowers that I capture, but now I think I will just sit back and share the easy ones, the ones from my yard.

I am not the worlds best gardener and I don’t have the time to treat them like I should but I do have a pretty good assortment of flowers that I am growing in my yard just for the days when I can just slide out the back yard and knock of a couple of images and slide right back into the comfort of my own home for a change !!

I try to stick to perennials like coneflower, black-eyed Susan and bee-balm. But this year I also went with a cool little annual I found at the nursery and I love the profusion of blooms these little jewels produce. Forget-Me-Knots seem to be an easy flower to care for and they produce vivid blue colors in their bloom that make for incredible images.

So if you are looking for a great flower for your garden and or as a photography subject  you might try this great little plant I think you will be glad you did. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                   forgetmenot 1 2013

 

                                                                                                                                                                             forget me not 1 2013

 

Beauty in Everything…Even a Ditch

I think that is an old saying of some kind and in reality it definitely rings true, if you just get out and take a look at the world beneath your feet !!

The other day I was out driving to meet with a friend and happened to come across an old ditch along a back road in Jefferson County Indiana, just out side of Madison, driving along I noticed a long stretch of the ditch had been mowed around. Figuring the county did not want their mowers bogged down in the moister laden mess, they just mowed around it and left a long swath of growth.

With our lives been so complicated and busy most travelers would drive right past this not noticing the beauty that is intertwined in the ditch, as well I might have done the same but the more I live my life with a camera sometimes just little colors or shapes seem to stand out and catch my eye.

Thankfully on this day my camera pack and tripod were in the back and I was ready to capture some the beauty of this wonderful little flower garden that escaped the mowers blade. I counted at least seven different wildflowers along that stretch trying to capture the beauty of these little gems as I crawled along the side of the road.  I am sure I was getting quite a few strange looks from the folks who traveled that road daily, but when shooting I usually don’t notice what is happening with the onlookers who pass by.

Well here they are, five samples of the beauty that sometimes gets lost in our fast paced and hectic lives, hopefully we can take the time just to slow down and take a little closer look at the beautiful things that we miss.  Hope you enjoy the pics and thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                         Wild Bergamot 1 2013

                                                                                    Wild Bergamot

 

 

                                                                                      Helianthus 1 2013

                                                                                                          Helianthus

Cardinal Flower 1 2013

                     Cardinal Flower

  Square-Stemmed Monkey Flower 1 2013  Squared-Stemmed Monkey Flower

                                                                                             Heal All 1 2013

                                                                                     Heal All