Thursday, April 4, 2013
This is a shot from our beautiful Coronado Butterfly Preserve in Goleta. This year the butterfly population seemed a bit smaller than years past, but they are still an absoultely amazing sight.
Monday, December 10, 2012
It's the time of year when the Monarch Butterflies return to their overwintering spot in Santa Barbara, the Coronado Butterfly Preserve. According to the experts the clusters of butterflies are small this year, although it's still early. Even so the experience is amazing. This is just one of the small clusters, but the position of the sun was perfect. What you can't see are the hundreds of butterflies fluttering around the grove. It's a wonderful spot that only exists because of the hard work of volunteers and donors who have protected it.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Zebra Heliconian Butterfly
Zebra Heliconian butterfly at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History's Butterflies Alive display. The museum allows you to wander in an enclosed area full of hundreds of butterflies this time of year. It's a wonderful experience!
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Gulf Fritillary at Rolling Hills Nursery
A backlit beauty at one of my favorite local nurseries! This is a Gulf Fritillary at Rolling Hills Nusery in Buellton. We have some beautiful nurseries in Santa Barbara, but sometimes it's nice to get away for the day and see what's happening in the Santa Ynez Valley. Especially this time of year with our June Gloom (costal fog that covers the city for most of the day,) which comes early sometimes. The fog is usually very beautiful in itself, but after a couple of days it's nice to be able to go get a little sun in the valley. Then we can come home to the nice cool evening termeratures.
Sunday, November 6, 2011
Our winter friends are back! The last couple of weeks have seen quite an increase in the number of Monarch butterflies around Santa Barbara. This one floated by as I was chasing a Hummingbird. The hummingbird turned out to be too shy, but there is always someone around who loves to have their picture taken!
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Gulf Fritillary in the Back Yard
Our babies are growing up! A couple of years ago we got a couple of vines, (a Passion Flower and a Mandevilla) to try to coax the beautiful butterflies to stay in our back yard. They almost wiped out the Passion Flower completely the first year. This year the original vines are each about four times the original size, and we have two additional Passion Flowers about the same size. That was finally enough to support the caterpillar crop this year. This is one of four butterflies that we suspect were recently caterpillars in the Passion Flowers and now spend most of the days fluttering and playing in the back yard.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
This was from a trip to a local nursury just before Christmas. Santa Barbara is a popular place for them to hang out in the Winter. We actually have a grove of Eucalyptus trees they congregate in. I'd love to go take more shots of them, but the way it's raining right now I don't think I could make it through the mud.
Saturday, December 9, 2006
Costa Rican Butterfly Vine
Now there's somthin' ya don't see every day! Well, unless you have
one of these vines in your front yard.
This one is growing in a garden center near Santa Barbara. It's pretty wild!
Tuesday, October 3, 2006
We spent a day in San Luis Obispo last week. It is a fun place to wander around and the weather was great for it. We found this guy while walking the hound by the mission.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
The hound and I were wandering down
De La Vina Street today. Only a few steps into our walk I noticed a beautiful
orange flower growing by the edge of the sidewalk.
When I leaned down to examine it I found a pleasant surprise!
Of course when I saw this guy I suspected that my beautiful flower was actually a weed. But that's ok. On one small plant there were two of these large Monarch caterpillars.
Monarchs dine almost exclusively on Milkweed. It gives them a lovely defense against predators. You see since the Milkweed is poisonous (and tastes terrible to almost anything with the apparent exception of Monarch caterpillars) It makes the caterpillars and resulting butterflies poisonous and taste terrible to just about anything that would try to make a snack of them.
As I was sitting on the sidewalk, watching the caterpillar it was amazing how many people went by (looking at me like I was crazy) and missed such an interesting sight. Of course I guess it is only interesting to crazy photographers like me and other fortunate people with child-like curiosity.
Monday, May 8, 2006
We went for another walk today. Along the way we stopped by our neighbor's yard to check on the caterpillar from our Saturday walk, and this is what we found! I thought he looked like he was trying to get comfortable there.
Monday, February 27, 2006
Hiding Heliconian in a Strawberry Tree
This guy thought he had a good hiding place. And actually, he did. I was impressed by how his wings blended with the angle of the leaves. Fortunately, I found him anyway.
Monday, November 21, 2005
Another point of view
Like yesterday this is another image that was taken at the same time as a completely different looking shot of a similar subject. Although in this case it is not the exact same subject, you can see that changing only the angle and the view in the background give them a completely different feel.
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
Monarch & Zinnia
I really love the background in this image. It is a bit abstract. And the low aperture that makes the background so interesting made the butterfly's wings just out of focus enough to look like they are fluttering a bit.
Saturday, October 1, 2005
Zebra on a Flower
I like this shot because the shallow depth of field
makes it look like his wings are fluttering.
This guy is the official state butterfly of Florida.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
The filters I use to take my close-ups are a combination
of several lenses. This particular combination gives
me an extremely low aperture, so there is only
a very specific distance that is in focus.
In this case only a couple of millimeters.
The effect ends up looking like a painting, especially when enlarged.
Friday, September 9, 2005
Another shot from Wednesday's trip to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. While we were there we signed up for a year membership that includes the sea center on Stearns Wharf. So that should give me plenty of photo opportunities.
Thursday, September 8, 2005
Yesterday I went back to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.
It is almost the end of the butterfly season there. Each year for the
past few years they have had a live butterfly exhibit called
"Butterflies Alive". Something that is done other places too, but from
what I have seen their exhibit is particularly nice.
In addition to getting some shots I am very happy with, I was finally able to identify this guy. He is from Texas or Northern Mexico. And, I found out that it was not that they are not documented well online, it is just that I did not recognize the images on the butterfly sites. Most of the images are taken with the wings stretched out making them look more of a classic butterfly shape. But, with the exception of a few basking in the sun, they seem to rarely hold their wings that way. They have a more stealth appearance in real life.
Tuesday, August 30, 2005
At one point I knew what kind of butterfly this was. But it's name escapes me at the moment. And, if you have ever searched the Internet for butterflies you know there are about a million different kinds which makes identification a bit difficult.