Saturday, June 5, 2010

Bugs and Butterflies

In the past few months, while I was taking pictures of flowers, I also managed to get a few nice pictures of various bugs and butterflies. Now good pictures of bugs and butterflies are a lot harder to get than pictures of flowers. For one thing, flowers don't run (or fly) away from you. Also, the chickens that follow me around whenever I'm out in the yard don't have much interest in flowers. But let me see an interesting bug and as I am crouching down to get a nice close shot, a hen will dart in and gobble the bug up before I can take the shot. Admittedly, part of the reason we have chickens is to help keep the fly and bug population down. But when you're trying to take a picture and your pet chickens keep eating the subjects of your pictures, it can be a little frustrating. However, even with all of those difficulties, I have managed to get a few nice pictures. Here are some of my favorites.

A big pretty yellow and black butterfly that I followed around for 10 or 15 minutes in order to get several nice shots.

Side view of the butterfly as it was sucking up moisture from some mud.

The butterfly in flight.
Identified by Mary as a Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes)

The butterfly flying above its own shadow.

A smaller white and black moth.

A very small orange moth that I managed to get a nice close picture of before a hen ate it.

A red and black bug that apparently eats flower petals. I wouldn't mind if the hens ate him, but they didn't.

A medium sized orange butterfly (moth?) that a chicken attacked before I could get a closer shot. Fortunately, the butterfly got away.

Identified by Mary as possibly a Checkered Skipper

A leaf brown moth that was very cooperative and allowed me to get several good shots, including an extreme closeup.

A small blue dragonfly

And a pair of black and white polka-dot moths mating. At least I assume that is what they are doing.

Identified by Mary as Giant Leopard Moths (Hypercompe scribonia)

I hope you enjoy the pictures, and if you know what any of these insects are properly called, please tell me.


  1. Well, the last two moths are pretty easy to identify! They are Giant Leopard Moths (Hypercompe scribonia). The black and yellow butterfly flying over its shadow is a Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes). The one blurry butterfly shot is maybe some sort of Checkered Skipper? It's hard to tell really, but it looks like it with the blue body and checkered wings.

    A lot of great finds! I especially love the shots of the brown moth--beautiful! What kind of camera are you using?

  2. Hi Mary,
    Thanks for identifying some of the moths. The camera I use is a Canon Eos Rebel XT.