The Zebra Swallowtail

zebra swallowtail 1 2019

Here is an image of one of my favorite butterflies, the Zebra Swallowtail. I photographed this wonderful specimen at Splinter Ridge FWA here in Madison Indiana.

The Zebra has such a unique appearance and their sometime ferocious defense of their territory make them such an amazing species of butterfly you can’t help but admire them.

I once watched a beat up male chase away every other butterfly trying to feed on a patch of butterfly weed and after running them all off he turned his attention to me lol !!

And if you ever watch one flying thru an open field with it’s beautiful tail twisting in the wind you would understand what a wonderful animal they are. So if you ever get a chance to be out and come across the Zebra, take some time to sit and observe this great wonder of the natural world !!

Halloween Pennant

dragonfly 1 2019

The Halloween Pennant is a great dragonfly with a very distinct color that has you thinking Halloween with the warm fall color !!

I captured this one at Big Oaks NWR not long ago, I have kinda stayed away from this type of photography because of the speed of these beautiful insects. But after hanging around watching them for a while I see they have a penchant for flying back to the same spot you scared them from if you give them some time.

So if wildflowers and butterflies weren’t enough I have to add dragonflies to the list of things to photograph as well …I guess it’s better than hanging out in bars lol !!

Early Season Wildflowers

 

Here is a small gallery of the wonderful early season wildflowers that grace the canyons and woodlots of Jefferson County Indiana.

Going clockwise we have Bloodroot, Hepatica,Harbinger of Spring and Rue Anenome . All of these little gems can now be found blooming all across Southern Indiana and many other places across the Midwest.

There is not much in life that I enjoy more than wandering all the wild places that our home has to offer and attempt to capture and share the beauty of these amazing examples of the natural elegance that the spring bloom has to offer.

It doesn’t last long and it is something you really must witness in person. So get out of the house take a hike to one of the great natural areas we have here in Southern Indiana.

 

Monarchs on the Move

The last few nights have been amazing following the Monarchs here in Madison Indiana. It looks like the Monarch Migration is in full swing and looks to be one of the most impressive ones in recent memory.

I really believe I have seen more Monarchs the last few weeks than I have see in my lifetime. One day last week I stood in one spot and gazed over a field of New England Aster and Goldenrod and counted thirty six feeding on the blooms.

But I have heard stories of people just to our north coming across roosts of these magnificent creatures where hundreds have landed for the night, that is what I am looking for! What an incredible sight would that be to behold.

I guess if I keep looking and hitting the fields and woodlots here in Southern Indiana sooner or later I will get my wish and if not it has been an incredible year for photographing and viewing butterflies.

There isn’t too much time left before they will all be gone as the seasons change but it will cool down and the leaves will change and more opportunities will be there for me to get out and photograph all the beauty the area has to offer.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look!

Two is company Three is Death !!

monarch 6 2018

Sometimes things hide in plain site and those things can be deadly !!

While photographing Monarch butterflies in a field of New England Asters the other day near my home, in Madison Indiana, I came across these two lovely Monarchs and followed them closely for about fifteen minutes.

I spent the entire time completely enthralled with their movements and feeding patterns. Even though the wind was blowing pretty steady at the time I was able to capture several good images from the shoot.

And as I said before sometimes things can hide in plain site, even though I spent considerable time observing these two wonderful gems little did I know that the grim reaper was at their door, in the form of a Carolina Mantis. It wasn’t till I got home and downloaded the images on my computer did I notice the beast.

Hard to believe an insect so ferocious and larger than life could have been right under my nose for so long and I never even had a clue. And that is probably why they are at the top of the food chain in the insect world. And we won’t even bring up their sex life lol !!

I worked the area with the Monarchs for around fifteen minutes and then moved on not knowing if the predator got it’s prey or whether the butterflies escaped with their life’s. I guess that is one of the many mysteries of nature.

Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

Summer Wildflowers

It’s funny that I have spent my entire summer photographing butterflies and even though I have captured many of the great summer wildflowers that grow here in the Madison Indiana area I have neglected to post any here on my blog. And what makes it funny is that I love to photograph wildflowers more than anything else !!

Here are three examples of beautiful wildflowers that call the area home. Michigan Lily, Black-eyed Susan and the Wild Bergamot.
All three are beautiful wildflowers but their real importance comes from the fact that butterflies and other pollinators love them.

There is nothing quite as beautiful as a butterfly feeding on a wildflower in an open feed on a late summer afternoon !!

I will have many more examples of the different wildflowers that we have here in southern Indiana and will share them at a later time. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!

American Lady

american lady 1 2018

Here is another butterfly that inhabits the Madison Indiana area. I captured this beautiful American Lady at Big Oaks NWR earlier this summer.

The American Lady is a wonderful butterfly with amazing wing markings and coloration it is widely distributed across North America. They like low vegetation in open areas, they have 3-4 broods a year and feed on many different wildflowers but are especially fond of button-bush which this one is feeding on in the image I have shared.

The American Lady has two large eye spots on it’s hind wings whereas the Painted Lady has four, both butterflies have a striking resemblance to each other and it can be difficult to differentiate between the two sometimes.

They are also very skittish and it can be extremely difficult to photograph or even approach them at times. A slow advance with as little movement as possible are the best way to get adjacent for very best viewing or photography.

So here is the image and a bit of info on this great butterfly hope you enjoy the post and now is the time to get out and find these beautiful little jewels of nature !!