Well, butterflies are starting to emerge from their long winter, at least here in Southern Illinois they are. And once again, it's like track season for me - just to keep up with them is a marathon! I will be posting some of the ones I manage to photograph as the season progresses, but for now, here are a few of the beauties I was able to run down last year.
This butterfly is much smaller than it looks - it was only about half as high as my lens cap, and it's a relative small one as lenscaps go. It flew around for awhile and then alighted on this tomato vine. You can see some unripened ones in the top right of the picture.
This butterfly looks a whole lot like one named a Question Mark. You may ask, why the punctuation nomenclature? Well, believe it or not, on the underside of an Eastern Comma's wing is a little white spot shaped like a comma. And correspondingly, on the underside of a Question Mark's wing is what looks exactly like a question mark - a squiggly line with a dot below it. Both species really like fruit, which is why this one is sitting on an apple that had fallen off the tree.
This was another butterfly that sat still and gave me plenty of opportunities. Several different views were captured, albeit halfway up a ladder. He landed on this tree trunk, but was about 10 feet off the ground. I couldn't even hold my camera up that high by stretching way out. But, he looked content to sit there awhile, so I went and got a step ladder, placed it against the tree and climbed up to his level. Even then he didn't fly away for about 10 minutes or so. His colors were very distinct. Don't you think so?
This one looks just like he has large eyes on his wings. I guess it's to frighten off anybody that might be interested in eating him for lunch. Well, those are just a few of many species I catalogued here last year. I'm hoping that this year will be even better, so stay tuned for the results!