Skip navigation

While I was shooting this Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail at the Tawny Daylilies, a hummingbird unexpectedly appeared off to the left just outside the frame. However, instead of getting the shot, all I could manage was [Gasp!] “Oh my God, there it IS!” followed by a bit of fumbling with the camera before it vanished as quickly as it came. 

You really can’t blame me. Every time I’ve seen the (rare) hummer in my landscape it is only for mere seconds so I never get the chance to compose myself as a proper photog should and focus fast enough to capture the image. 

Sigh. Oh, the photo that would have been! 🙂

"Swallowed" (Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail with Tawny Daylily) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/9, 1/250s, ISO 400

“Swallowed” (Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail with Tawny Daylily) Nikon D300, 650mm (200-400mm w/1.7x teleconverter), F/9, 1/250s, ISO 400

All in all, I’m still pretty pleased with the shot I got and there’s always hope for another day when perhaps, just perhaps, by then I’ll have learned to click firstthen gasp! 🙂


  1. Oh my! Hummingbird or no, this shot is unbelievably gorgeous!

    • Thanks, Karma! We always seem to want what we can’t have, eh? 🙂

  2. Well as nice as a shot of a hummer would have been, I think this is a pretty good consolation prize.. Of course you could always opt for the more sedentary vehicular hummer, but then I’m guessing you’d not really want one of those tearing round your backyard… 😉

    • LOL! Brian you are hilarious! I’d NEVER want THAT kind of hummer anywhere near my house or yard! Those things are monsters! 🙂

      Yes, it is a good consolation prize (funny, I almost titled the blog post that but didn’t want to send out that kind of message like I was unhappy with the shot I got). I just wish there were more hummingbirds in my area. With just the one that I’ve seen, it is difficult to get any sort of handle on a ritual or pattern. Sigh. Some day! Thanks, Brian!

  3. Maybe a hummingbird feeder or two? Or do you have them already?

    I had to laugh at the picture, because it looked like my girls got to this little butterfly and taught it to hide from the camera 😉

    • C’mon! Of course I have hummingbird feeders! 🙂 My landscape is a veritable banquet for hummingbirds! I think the problem might be that the other birds are so territorial the poor little thing keeps getting chased out. OR, perhaps, it is in the yard when I am not. Sigh.

      I never lose hope. Just seeing one is magical to me!

      Ha! That is funny! Since this butterfly is a MALE, I can’t name it after your daughters BUT I could name it after your hubby since I’ve seen him hide from your camera as well… 😉

  4. I think this is a very nice compensation for the hummer photo. And don’t be afraid, you’ll catch him next time 😉

    • I certainly hope so! I just wish s/he stay long enough in the landscape so that I can simply watch him/her! I find them just so fascinating.

      Thanks for the vote of confidence! 🙂

  5. Beautiful shot, I think this is just as awesome of a shot as the hummingbird would have been. Last year we had hummingbirds that would come regularly to our feeder and this year they are not coming as often. We were told that maybe the solution we mixed was not as strong or sweet enough for them.

    • Thank you, Consuelo!

      I used these powdered packets of hummingbird nectar (mix them with water) and I make sure they are strong. I just don’t think there are that many hummers in my area so to see one is quite rare. I’ve been planting things specifically for them to attract them to the yard. I guess I just need to be patient and know my day will come! 🙂

  6. I can’t tell you how many times I have that same experience, not always with hummingbirds. I end up saying Oh well I do better with things that don’t move.

    • Thanks for confirming that I’m not alone…still just as frustrating! I will always keep trying!! 🙂

  7. I sympathize – sometimes I think photographers need the reflexes of superman to get those blink-and-you-miss-it shots. It may not have humming bird, but it’s still a lovely shot.

    • Thanks! Good to know I am not alone!

      Maybe I need to ‘practice’ catching flies with chopsticks (ala ‘karate kid’) to get faster reflexes!! 😀

  8. Really cool photo. You are an inspiration, you are!

    • Aw, you are so sweet, Kathy. Thanks so much and welcome! I love ‘seeing’ a new face around here. Even if it is a tax collector and and sinner. 😉

  9. Regardless, heckuva great shot!

  10. Simply beautiful! ’nuff said.

  11. Too bad about the hummer, but really, THIS composition is absolutely magical. The flutterby is so absorbed and is a perfect match to the lily in form and beauty. So perfect…

    • Yeah, bummer about the hummer. 😉

      Thank you, Amber! I’ll take PERFECT any day! 🙂

  12. What a beautiful photo. The butterfly looks like it’s buried its head so deep into the flower that it might be swallowed by the bloom! And, yeah, I know they don’t put their heads into flowers… not really. Do they?

    Sorry, I’m in a silly mood today.

    • Exactly! That is why I called it ‘Swallowed’ ! I thought it to be a nice play on words for what is happening as well as because it is a Swallowtail!

      Weeeeelll, I guess they bury more their proboscis into the flower but in the case of lilies that are large and deep to begin with, they seem to bury their heads as well!

      Silly is good! I like silly! Thank you, Val! 🙂

  13. shoulda been frequenting the blog more often. woulda avoided embarrassment of calling a daylilly a iris!

    • Ha! Well, yes, you should be, Pat! Your iris daylily image is fantastic! 🙂

  14. Lovely!

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: