OR How I Almost Didn't Photograph a Butterfly in 2013
This was the year that I was going too shoot in Sica Hollow State Park many times over the course of the summer. Unfortunately, it appears the cosmos had other plans for me. I last shot there in May when the flowers were first popping up. Shooting again in September is definitely a huge contrast to that first shoot.
The late winter and weird spring weather also played havoc with my capturing photos of one of my favorite subjects, butterflies. I hadn't taken one photo of a butterfly all year and honestly, I was starting to get worried.
Fortunately, one of my favorite state parks came through for me. Nature didn't make it easy, but I finally did get some shots. I saw many, many monarchs, tiger striped swallowtails and random yellow and white butterflies that I couldn't even identify before I finally got my chance. A freak chance, actually.
I was down on my knees unpacking my gear from my backpack - I had just swapped lenses as I was shooting a flower and this tiny little dark colored butterfly came flitting by. It kindly settled on a flower a mere couple of feet from where I was kneeling. I scooted over and fired away. I didn't get any award winning photos, but I am relatively happy with this one.
According to Kaufman's Field Guide to Butterflies of North America, this appears to be a female Eastern Tailed-Blue. This is a TINY butterfly, less than an inch. I was very happy to get that under my belt!
I hiked for about four or five hours in the afternoon and evening. I wanted to get to places I hadn't been before and the park didn't let me down. Completely different feel from the south side of the park road where I spend most of my time. This part of the park is mostly open prairie as opposed to forest. Lots and lots of flowers, dragonflies and butterflies.
Sometime after capturing the Blue, I had one additional opportunity to shoot another butterfly. They all seemed very skittish this day. Many times butterflies can be rather social and tend to fly around me, giving me lots of chances. Not today.
Again, not an award winning photograph, but it had been some time since I seen a Fritillary butterfly, so it was fun to see this one on the side of the trail. I only got a chance for two quick captures and this was the better of the two.
I believe this one is the Great Spangled Fritillary, but I didn't have a lot of time to see it and the photos are not completely conclusive.
Even though I didn't capture a lot of images, I did very much enjoy the day. The hike was fantastic. The weather was warm, but not overbearing. The wind was light, the sun was bright and the critters and flowers were abundant.
I'll post follow up articles in the coming days highlighting the flowers and other critters I photographed at Sica Hollow. Hope you'll come back and take a look!
p.s. If you want to see all the photos from this trip to Sica Hollow, you can view the entire gallery here: http://www.pjandersonphotography.com/sicahollowsept