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Tag Archives: butterfly bush

There are many trees, shrubs and perennials planted in my garden specifically to attract birds and insects. However, none deliver better than the butterfly bushes! It seems now that they are in full bloom, the winged creatures simply cannot help themselves.

“Lapis Eye” (Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail at Butterfly Bush ‘Potter’s Purple’) Nikon D300, 500mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x teleconverter), F/6.3, 1/160s, ISO 640

Snapping many, many images over the course of a few days, I realized I am sadly out of practice. It is amazing how quickly one’s camera skills can get rusty… I guess I’ve been living up to the ‘lazy days’ of summer, huh? 😉

Plus, many of the butterflies that visited had damaged wings, which made getting a good image all the more tricky.

“Wings Wide” (Eastern Tiger Swallowtail) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/6.3, 1/200s, -0.3EV, ISO 400, Built-in iTTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

I am always fascinated by the hummingbird moths that stop by for a drink.

“Hum-vee” (Snowberry Clearwing Moth at Butterfly Bush ‘Nanho Petite Indigo’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4.5, 1/500s, ISO 1600

Just like hummingbirds, these guys are extremely quick and fly so sporadically it can make your head spin!

“Bokeh Hum” (Clearwing Hummingbird Moth at Butterfly Bush ‘Potter’s Purple’) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/7.1, 1/320s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Built-in iTTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

Of course, then there are the bees. As I was watching for butterflies, I noticed this one carpenter bee ‘hovering’ in mid-air, waiting for other bees to leave the particular blossom he seemed to be keying in on. 

“Flight of the Bee” (Carpenter Bee in Flight) Nikon D300, 280mm (VR 200-400mm F/4G w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/640s, ISO 640

I did my best to maneuver the huge lens to get a fix on him but only got a single ‘not-so-in-focus’ shot off. Still, I never really thought I’d ever catch a bee in flight so for me, this is pretty darn cool.

Activity at the butterfly bushes will be going strong for quite awhile so I’m sure I’ll get more opportunities to practice. Until then, you can find me at the pool. 🙂

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"Crouching Tiger" (Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Buddleia davidii 'Potter's Purple') Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/1600s, -0.7EV, ISO 500

"Crouching Tiger" (Male Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Buddleia davidii 'Potter's Purple') Nikon D300, 70mm, F/5.6, 1/1600s, -0.7EV, ISO 500

It has been a sad, sad season for butterflies. 😦

By now the garden is typically swarming with Monarchs, Painted Ladies and Swallowtails. Alas, there’s not a single Monarch butterfly to be found and, of the Swallowtails, most are showing battle scars from near misses with birds. Sigh. So sad, indeed.

It was a sight for sore eyes then to spot this Eastern Tiger Swallowtail at the Butterfly Bush ‘Potter’s Purple’ with his colorful wings still intact! Hooray!

I did my best to keep up with him and, recalling my shutter speed troubles with the Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, I was determined to not repeat that same mistake!

Come back for a drink anytime, Mr. Swallowtail! 

Still haven’t managed to photograph the hummingbird, but I did capture this Hummingbird Clearwing Moth as it was leaving one of the butterfly bushes!

"The Great Escape" (Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, Hemaris thysbe, on Buddleia davidii, "Nanhoe Petite Indigo", aka Butterfly Bush) Nikon D300, 500mm (200-400m w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/320s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

"The Great Escape" (Hummingbird Clearwing Moth, Hemaris thysbe, and Buddleia davidii, "Nanho Petite Indigo", aka Butterfly Bush) Nikon D300, 550mm (200-400m w/1.4x teleconverter), F/5.6, 1/320s, -0.3EV, ISO 640

Just like hummingbirds, these suckers are fast! Today was good practice for me for when the hummer does show up as I will need to use a much higher shutter speed to capture the hummer clearly.

All in all, a very cool shot…just wish it was sharper. Next time, I will be ready! 🙂

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