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 !!

Madison Indiana Landmarks

 

Here are a few pics from my hometown of Madison Indiana. There are so many beautiful places to photograph here you could walk the downtown district for days and not run out of things to photograph !!

Not only are there great architectural subjects to capture but the natural diversity that we are so blessed to live in is second to none. My biggest problem is spending so much time working the natural aspect of our area I tend to forget all the other historic places that Madison is famous for.

This is definitely the place to come and explore for a weekend or a long vacation you won’t be sorry you did !!

Clifty Falls Wildflowers…Trout Lily

Another great wildflower that grows in our area is the Trout Lily. Found in large clusters this beautiful little flower gets it’s name for the trout like pattern on the leaves of the newly emerging wildflower.

The trout lily sprouts and flowers in early spring, before new tree leaves grow. Plants grow from a white bulb that have a tooth-like shape. This wildflower will usually grow when underground rhizomes spread and form clusters or colonies. Mature plants also spread by seeds. Ants can scatter the seeds, eating part of the seed and leaving the rest to germinate. And some trout lily colonies can be 200 to 300 years old.

The plants are found in woodland habitats and moist hillsides the stamens can either be yellow or black and can be quite large for such a small plant. The Trout Lily is just another great example of all the wonderful wildflowers that are on display right now just waiting for you to view.

The Beautiful Monarch

monarch eveing 9 2018

The last few days here in Madison Indiana the Monarch butterflies have been resting and feeding in all the great wildflower fields that surround our area. I also have never seen the goldenrod as beautiful as I have seen it this year, which makes it a great compliment to the Monarch in all my pics.

i don’t know how long the migration will hold around here but I am trying to get out and shoot with every spare minute I can find. Whatever happens it has definitely been one the best opportunities I have ever had to photograph these beautiful winged creatures and who knows with their numbers plummeting across the United States I may not ever see these numbers again.

The sad thing is,at least in my area, that no one else seems to be noticing the significant number of butterflies that have stopped off from their annual migration. I have spent countless hours outdoors and have never witnessed such a display that is being put on right now.

I guess it’s all in your priorities but I will take nature every time and leave the frivolous stuff to the masses lol. I just hope that maybe I can talk one person into getting out seeing something they may never be able to see again in their lifetime and it has a lasting effect on them.

Thanks for taking the time to stop and have a look at my photography and have a great weekend!

Monarch Frenzy

Frenzy is the only word I can use to describe what I have been seeing here in Madison Indiana when it comes to Monarch behavior the last couple evenings. And I think this is as close as I may ever come to witnessing a full fledged Monarch roost as I may ever come to see as well.

I work at King’s Daughters’ Health a hospital based in Southern Indiana near Madison. The hospital sits on twenty two acres of land that right now is covered in Goldenrod and White Aster. We are also right in the middle of the annual Monarch migration and with this years brood of butterflies being one of the best, some say in the last twenty years, it has definitely made for a frenzy of activity right at my own workplace!

The last two nights I have observed hundreds of these beautiful creatures and they have been so accommodating to my presence that I have been able to capture many images of these majestic little jewels, probably more than in any other year of photographing them, all in two evenings!

I don’t know how long this will last the weather tonight turned windy and wet and while leaving work I did not see nearly as many gliding over the fields like I had seen in the last couple days. Hopefully the weather will settle and maybe if I am lucky I will get a couple more shots at this amazing spectacle before they continue on their migration south to central Mexico.

There are many times in life’s journey you come across times that make such an impression on you that you carry them with you the rest of your life and I believe this may be one of those times. Some people may scoff at this but when you spend as much time as I have pursuing these and all other butterflies the last few years it’s these times that make it all worth while!

Hope you enjoy the images and maybe someday you will be able to witness a moment like this as well!

Sunset over Madison

another sunset 1 2018

I try to get out and photograph as much as possible but as we all know weather is a huge factor in where and when I do get to photograph. And as you know the weather can change at a moments notice and in this image things changed at a crazy speed that I almost didn’t catch.

For the last month we have experienced an over abundance of rain and that has really hampered my time out. So a couple nights ago once again we had rain all day that led into the evening. I arrived home walked out into the yard with my dog and after observing how dark and flat the light was and with rain still lightly falling I decided to ditch another evening and went inside to catch up on post processing.

Sitting at my computer I noticed a change in the light streaming from the crack in the blinds of the window. I happened to be on facebook at the time, when my feed came alive from posts about the incredible rainbow we were experiencing at that moment. I quickly grabbed my camera bag and ran out of the house to find the slowly fading rainbow in the sky and my heart dropped, as I did get a few good shots, but didn’t make out in time to get the rainbow when it was displaying at it’s fullest display.

But once again time came into effect I figured since I was already out I would wait a bit and see how the sunset turned out. I think I made the right call on this one I eventually captured another great sunset over Madison Indiana from one of my favorite spots.

I guess if there is a moral to the story it would be that things in nature can change very quickly, from the time I got home to dark cloud covered day it went to a amazing rainbow and then to this wonderful sunset a little more than a hour had passed. So don’t give up too soon when you go out and be patient with the changing conditions it can and does get better out there !!