Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Flutter Color

When I got home today, I thought to myself "I should go take some pictures." It was a beautiful, sunny, not-too-hot afternoon, and some of my favorite flowers are in bloom right now.

Now, it can be a gamble for good photos when I tell myself that I "should" go take some pictures. Even when I have a specific idea or concept that I'm trying to capture, it's still pot-luck, but the "I should do this" thought tends to stifle creativity and my photographic "eye." Still, I thought I would give it a try. After all, practice only makes you better. Armed with my tripod, I set out on a little photo safari just across the road. I was rewarded for my efforts.

Here is one of my favorite flowers, Deptford Pink. It's very petite, and can be easy to miss. But if you're looking close to the ground, the very deep color will eventually catch your eye. This flower is a member of the Carnation family.

Another colorful summer favorite is Butterfly Weed, a member of the Milkweed family. This flower provided me with some beautiful photos today.

As the name implies, Butterflies are attracted to this plant.

This butterfly is the Spicebush Swallowtail (thanks to the Ohio DNR website for helping me with the ID - it would seem that a butterfly field guide may be the next one to add to my ever-growing collection of field guides).

I absolutely love the blue coloring on this butterfly - zooming in offers an enhanced view.

And take a look at the coloring underneath - amazing.

Butterflies weren't the only interesting insect though - I saw a couple of cool dragonflies flitting around just behind the Butterfly Weed. Luckily the tripod offered me some nice steady shots, crisp enough for zooming in on the details of this guy.

I'll be honest, dragonflies gross me out a little bit. I don't know why, they just do. However, I became less grossed out by them when we were on vacation up in Michigan a few weeks ago and we actually witnessed dragonflies hatching at lake's edge. I even let one walk around on my hand. Maybe it was the physical contact that helped make them less gross - after all, I didn't get cooties from it or anything! Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the hatching.

In looking online to try to get an ID for this guy, I was stunned to learn just how many different species of dragonflies (and damselflies) there are. As best I can tell, this is a male Widow Skimmer. (ID courtesy of

No insects here, just a little bunch of Black-eyed Susans next to the road.

And here's some Common Milkweed, cousin to the Butterfly Weed.

To think, I almost didn't go outside to take any pictures today! I'm glad I listened to my gut and just got out there.


Dave said...

I especially like #4 ("This butterfly is the Spicebush Swallowtail..."). The Butterfly Weed looks like it's glowing

ms said...

Hey, Heather-
DA recently linked to your blog in IMS so I'm re-discovering it. You take great photos! What kind of camera do you have? Being newly-unemployed, I get to watch our yard go through its cycles in minute detail. I saw some recently-hatched swallowtail caterpillars eating our fennel flowers recently. They changed from one pattern of disguise to another over the course of a few days, and then were abruptly gone--snatched up by a bird, no doubt. That's nature for you.

Heather said...

Thanks for the nice comments, MS. Welcome back to the States (I know you've been back for a while, but...) My camera is a Nikon D50. When I shoot stuff like this, it really makes me wish I had a macro lens. Someday...
Enjoy the nature watching while you can.
We finally got high-speed access out our neck of the woods, so hopefully I will post a little more frequently since it will no longer take hours to upload my photos. Thanks for stopping by!