That’s No Bat

Today was a momentous occasion of sorts.  On the morning schedule was a long run as I’m in the final month of training for the upcoming IVS Half Marathon.  There was a little bit of apprehension  due to the planned distance – 11 miles.  Normally that wouldn’t be too daunting, but this distance holds new meaning for me now – this is the distance covered the day I received a cold trip to the emergency room (link here).  Since that day, the most I’ve subjected myself to was 9 miles.  Based on the weeks left before raceday, it was now time to pass that hurdle.  As you can tell by the creation of this post, that distance is once again MINE.  Truth be told it was pretty cool at the start (but it definitely warmed up at the end) and the last two miles were a bit of a struggle, but none the less, it’s 11 miles in the book.  Only two more miles to go to the required distance and barring any unforeseen issues that should not be a problem!  To celebrate, thought I’d crank out a quick post.  The good news is I’ve now completed processing all the shoots up to January ’13 so there is plenty of fodder for the blog – the bad news is I’ve now ONLY completed all the shoots up to January ’13.  You just might be getting some bonus entries in the coming months and thinking at the moment I’ll be jumping ahead to some recent shoots because I really want to show you some of those as soon as possible.  Until then I give you this!

This was actually a print submitted for the UB competition (link here) and ended up taking a blue ribbon in the insect category.  Surprisingly, I didn’t find any Butterflies in a quick search of this blog. I could have sworn I’ve featured these beautiful creatures before, especially since these are my third go-to subjects when out in the field – first birds, then dragonflies and then off to find some flowers in hopes of capturing some colorful prints to hang on the wall.  I may have to go back and search again – still can’t believe there hasn’t been in previous postings .. sigh.

These particular shots were taken at Jubilee Park while testing out a borrowed 70-200 2.8 VR glass.  We were trying to decide if we wanted to upgrade from our older model workhorse.  Based on the results from this set we ended up doing just that!

Hit the jump to find out what kind of Butterfly this is (maybe) and see some additional shots

Although I enjoy shooting Butterflies, actually identifying them is a challenge – about as much fun as identifying sparrows.  The standard approach with these subjects is to just search Google Images for Butterflies and slog through the images until something comes close and go from there.  I did try this Discover Life site (link here) but the best I could do was narrow it down to about a hundred different options which is way too much for me to parse through.  On the other hand Google Images came up with something close.  From there I narrowed it down based on the scientific name that was referenced on the tag: Battus Philenor

Leave it to the discoverer to confuse it with a bat (hehehe).  Luckily there is a more common name: Pipevine Swallowtail.

A quick search of Wikipedia revealed how these winged jewels got their name.  Their caterpillars (which can be red or black) feed on the Pipevine plant which is apparently poisonous.  This makes them toxic as caterpillars and adults.  Once at adulthood they rely solely on plant nectar for nourishment which is quite obvious from all the images in this set.  These Swallowtails are a colorful lot.  Their undersides have 7 orange dots along their outer edge with a few creamish highlights on the tips of the upper and lower wings.  These creamish dots are carried through the actually body as well.  The topside has a stunning iridescent shimmer to it that graduates between black and bright royal blue.

The white markings are also scattered across this side of the wings.  How about I bring you in for a better look.

Absolutely beautiful.  Unlike most of the Butterflies I try to shoot, this one was not as hyper.  Most of the time it’s like trying to capture mosquitoes as they hop from flower to flower.  In contrast, this particular Swallowtail would land on a flower and take its time to explore the nectar opportunities.  Add to the fact it could not care less that I was there pointing a big black barrel at it.  Two conditions that makes for a very productive day of shooting.

Time to hit the hay – see you again sometime soon!

4 thoughts on “That’s No Bat”

  1. Very pretty butterfly! I’m surprised that you were able to capture the iridescence so well–I would not have thought that possible in a non-stereo 2D picture. I haven’t seen this type of butterfly before, and I think I would have remembered it if I had. I can see it’s a Swallowtail, but there seem to be a lot of different versions of them.

    BTW, speaking of insects, I took a picture on vacation of a bee flying among flowers in honor of Linda’s famous BEE picture! I’ll have to send it to you two.

    Thanks for the pretty butterfly shots. I think you could have entered any one of these into the UB competitions.



  2. Yep, the Swallowtails have a lot of variety in them. Now that I’ve seen this one I’ve been able to pick them out pretty quickly while running in the park.

    sooooooo, F24, press and pray hehehehe. Although to Linda’s credit she will have correctly placed the ISO to stop the motion so we’ll see how yours came out.

    I did enter one of these in the UB competition this year – pretty sure it took first in the insect category.


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