Butterfly with Tattered Wing

Here’s a shot of a butterfly that I chased for several minutes through the campground last week.  There were storm clouds moving in, and I was trying to get a decent shot of this guy before the rain started.  He finally settled on this patch of flowers and stayed put long enough for me to get several shots with my telephoto lens.

It wasn’t until later when I was viewing the shots on my computer screen that I noticed that his right wing was torn.  Poor guy!  Anyway, I was thankful that he offered to pose for me for a few seconds just before the rain started.

Butterfly with Tattered Wing

This was shot in raw NEF format, converted to JPG and processed in Paintshop Pro X3.


Desert Botanical Garden – Part Deux

I spent some more time tonight going through the remainder of my photos from last weekend’s trip to Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.  As I suspected, most of the better shots were in the earlier part of the day before the sunlight because so harsh, but I did find a few that weren’t too bad.

The ten new photos that I’ve posted to Flickr tonight (only one of which is shown on this blog posting) were all made after lunch, from about 1:30 PM until about 3:00 PM, and the light had definitely shifted since before we stopped for lunch.  We had also moved into the part of the Garden that had more true desert displays, including a large area that contained displays of typical Apache and O’odham dwellings, animal corrals and vegetable patches.  This area was interesting, but not what what you would call “pretty” or “scenic”.  I got some decent shots of some of the displays and may post them later if I run out of anything better to concentrate on.  Toward the end of our visit, we wound up in another area that had some beautiful cactus blooms, and I’ve included some of those in tonight’s upload to Flickr, so check them out.

One of the displays that we visited after lunch was the Butterfly Habitat where, for a limited time, they have numerous species of butterflies and moths on display in a special humidity-controlled structure where you can walk in and actually have the butterflies fly all around you, often landing on you.  There are docents walking around with feather dusters to help remove them from your clothing as you get ready to leave the enclosure.

Inside the enclosure they had the misters running to keep things humid, so I had to make sure I kept my camera covered whenever walking under the spray.  The plants in the enclosure were much more tropical in nature than the desert plants in the rest of the Garden.  There were also several feeding areas setup among the plants, and there were usually several moths or butterflies hanging around each of the feeders.

Butterfly feeder

I took a lot of shots in here, but didn’t get a lot that I was really happy with.  The butterflies didn’t particularly want to pose for photos, and it wasn’t always easy to get the best angle for a shot with all the people around, the sun shining through the fabric roof, and the thick foilage of the plants.  I did get a few decent ones, however, and I posted some of the best ones to the Flickr set “Desert Botanical Garden – Phoenix“.

Some of the plants inside the butterfly exhibit were beautiful as well:

I used a fairly shallow depth of field on this shot, and I really like the softness of it and really don’t mind that it isn’t totally in focus.

Once again, all of the shots I posted tonight were processed in Paintshop Pro X3.  Hope you’ll stop by Flickr and see the ten new photos that I posted tonight.  And if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I highly recommend Desert Botanical Garden (especially before it gets much hotter!).


Easter, Springtime, Butterflies and Renewal

Springtime reminds us that, in the cycle of life and death, there’s renewal and regeneration after the long, dark winter.  One of my favorite symbols and reminders of springtime is the butterfly.  On this Easter weekend, as we celebrate resurrection and renewal, I offer you this image of a butterfly that I captured at Arcosanti a couple of weeks ago.  I believe he was on the payroll at Arcosanti, because he was an excellent model, pausing on each flower and spreading his wings wide for those of us who were lucky enough to be standing close by with a camera.  Not much processing here, I just added a rough frame to the JPG in Paintshop Pro X3 to soften the edges a little.

Today, Andy and I spent several hours at Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix.  Of course, I have a ton of pictures to sort through and process (156 to be exact), and I’ll be sharing some of those later.  Part of our tour was through the Butterfly Pavilion, where we were able to see around twelve species of butterflies and moths up close, including the luna moth.  However, none of the butterfly shots that I got in the pavilion were even close to the one from Arcosanti, which was a little disappointing, but I did capture some great images of some of the desert flora that’s blooming right now.  If you have never visited Desert Botanical Garden, I highly recommend it.  This was our first time there, and I will definitely go back–I especially want to visit there at night with my tripod.