Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Yellow Swallow-tail on Thistle


Hopefully the Butterfly photography will improve as the summer progresses but for now the populations seem to be below normal. If I were to guess the cause I would suspect the cool wet spring. Our temperatures have averaged below normal with rainfall above average until July ushered in a drying spell.

Farmers may hate thistles but make no mistake Butterflies love them. When looking for butterflies images one will never go wrong wondering about in a patch of thistle. Contact with the sharp needles can be uncomfortable but the beautiful blossoms combined with the brilliant colors of butterflies is a combination hard to beat.


These images were captured with a 100-400mm Canon lens & 25mm Kenko extension tube. I have found this to be a useful combination as the 400mm allows one to maintain a comfortable distance that does not alarm the butterflies while still capturing a suitably large image. A tripod is a necessity with this combination as it is virtually impossible to maintain focus otherwise because of the extremely shallow depth of field.

10 comments:

Montanagirl said...

Beautiful shots! Love the last one.

Ruth's Photo Blog said...

Beautiful shots.Those colors together are breathtaking.
Blessings,Ruth

Adrienne in Ohio said...

Beautiful shots. I agree with you that thistles make a great contrast with the butterflies. I'm hoping we see more as the summer progresses, too. It certainly has been a cool summer here in NE Ohio.

Abe Lincoln said...

I was just going through and sorting out butterfly photos from back in 2006. And to think that we have not had any this year is really disturbing to me.

Your Tiger Swallowtails are healthy looking and loving the Canada thistle.

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Leedra said...

Beautiful, and I hope the butterfly population does improve, because around my house it couldn't get much worse. I am seeing very few. This time last year I could walk out the front door and snap 100 photos in no time.

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Ken Conger Photography said...

Nice shots. The color difference between the thistle and the butterfly make for a dynamic image. Blue Skies.

Elaine said...

These are really beautiful shots. I love the colors with the thistle.

Juan C. Aguero said...

Good shot!!

Tom said...

Excellent capture Salty.. this is a beautiful Butterfly

Kerri said...

Wow, Salty....these are GREAT!