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Posts Tagged ‘Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly’

A clump of what I think is Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnataseemed irresistible to a trio of Great Spangled Fritillary butterflies (Speyeria cybele) on Monday at Huntley Meadows Park. For a brief moment they coexisted peacefully, until one of them encroached into the territory of another and they all began to jostle each other for the prime spots.

I quickly snapped off a series of photos before the butterflies flew away. As is the case with almost any group, it was almost impossible to capture an image in which all of the subjects were more or less facing the camera and had interesting poses. It was roughly equivalent to trying to photograph a group of wiggly little children—single subjects seem easy by comparison.

Great Spangled Fritillary

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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The butterflies were really active today at Huntley Meadows Park and I nearly wore myself out chasing after them. Fortunately one of them would occasionally perch, like this Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele), whose image I was able to capture from an unusual perspective.

Happy Memorial Day. Let us never forget the brave men and women who sacrificed so much for our freedom.

Great Spangled Fritillary

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Have you ever gone eye-to-eye with a butterfly? Yesterday at Huntley Meadows Park this Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly (Speyeria Cybele) was so focused on feeding that it let me get pretty close, close enough to see its cool speckled eyes and its extended proboscis.

Great Spangled Fritillary

Great Spangled Fritillary

Great Spangled Fritillary

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Spring is a time for chasing butterflies. This past week there seems to have been an explosion of Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele) butterflies and I saw them at multiple locations yesterday as I trekked about in Huntley Meadows Park. The butterflies were very active, stopping for only short periods of time at flowers before moving on to the next one. My chasing behavior was impeded somewhat by the tall vegetation that has grown up in the fields, thanks to the large amount of rain that we had in May.

One of my favorite approaches with butterflies is to try to get at eye level with then and a few times yesterday I was able to get the kind of shot that I really like.

Great Spangled Fritillary

Great Spangled Fritillary

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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WordPress tells me I posted 851 photos during 2015 in 395 blog posts. I’ve forgotten many of those photos, but I want to share ten of my favorites with you today as we start the new year.

I used a very unscientific approach in selecting them—I simply chose ones that I really liked without looking at numbers of likes or views or comments. So often I am focused on getting new shots that I sometimes forget how wide a spectrum of subjects I like to shoot. These images remind me of my varied approaches and techniques.

I didn’t include any of the fox photos or contest entries that I featured recently, figuring that you were already familiar with them. I should note that this selection of favorites is representative and not exhaustive—there are probably some awesome shots that I have neglected to include. I haven’t tried to put the images in any kind of rank order, but if forced to choose, my favorite image of the year is probably the first one, the Green Heron with a kind of Rembrandt lighting.

Thanks to all of you who have supported and encouraged me so much in 2015. Best wishes for a wonderful 2016.

Green Heron

Ebony Jewelwing

Great Spangled Fritillary

Banded Pennant

Green Heron

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Blue Dasher

Osprey

Bald Eagle

North American Beaver

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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It’s amazing how a brightly colored butterfly can almost disappear from view merely by turning sidewards. Last week, I was observing a Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly (Speyeria cybele) feeding on a yellow flower when suddenly it seemed to disappear. I blinked my eyes and looked again and the butterfly looked almost like a grasshopper, because I could not see its wings.

Great Spangled Fritillary

A few seconds later, the butterfly shifted its position and its colorful wings once more came into view, providing the more conventional view of the butterfly that you see in the photo below.

Great Spangled Fritillary

I love trying to find unconventional views of familiar subjects, though it’s important not to forget that there is a lot of beauty in the familiar conventional views as well.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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There were lots of other available thistle plants yesterday at Huntley Meadows Park, but an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) and a Great Spangled Fritillary (Speyeria cybele) kept jockeying for position on this single flower, each seemingly determined to gain the upper hand.

Who knew that butterflies were so competitive?

Competitive butterflies

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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