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 !!

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.

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.

 

Hepatica

hepatica 1 2019

It is so hard to keep up but its spring and that means wildflowers and I will never pass up a chance to share one of my favorite photography subjects with you.

One of the great early season wildflowers is Hepatica a wonderful little flower that usually begin to bloom in middle to late March on wooded slopes and ravines.

Right now the woods are alive with them and there should be plenty in bloom over the next couple weeks. It will be a great time to get out and explore all the beautiful natural areas Southern Indiana has to offer.

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!

Love Butterfly Style

Maybe I am showing my age but I thought the title from that show from the seventies “Love American Style” was an appropriate rip off title for tonight’s post. It wasn’t exactly Emmy award material but it had a catchy theme song and started the “Happy Days” and “Mork & Mindy” series.

OK that wasn’t exactly that funny or informative so moving on to the real reason I am here and that’s to share some images of the real love making inside the butterfly world.

I captured these wonderful butterflies in compromising situations this past summer in the Madison Indiana area. I really tried to give them their privacy but in the interest of nature photography I had to go against my best judgement and record the deed.

In my defense they really never tried to cover themselves up and seemed to enjoy their exhibitionist performance. Well maybe they didn’t enjoy the exhibition part and only cared for the mating part.

Now this whole post has become a train wreck and maybe I should just stick to posting images of butterflies and stay way from trying to make a humorous blog post. So here we have the Cloudless Sulphurs, Silvery Checkerspots and Viceroys doing what they do best making baby butterflies or should I say baby caterpillars, so they can carry on the great cycle of life these beautiful creatures are traveling.

Thanks for putting up with so called humor and hope yo enjoy the images!!