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Some Early Butterflies
Lens: FA 50 macro, FA 100 macro, Tamron adaptall90 (plus 2x TC) Camera: K-5 Photo Location: East Tennessee 
Posted By: mole, 05-09-2016, 08:51 PM

Late March and early April brought East Tennessee a warm dry spell that was perfect for emerging butterflies. Here are a few sample shots.

Falcate Orange Tips rarely perch - but this one was waiting early one morning for the sun to come and warm him.




This Tiger Swallowtail had just emerged and dried its wings, and was also waiting for some "solar heating."




Here's another Tiger, joined by his cousin Zebra - Zebra Swallowtail! Both are "feasting" on some mink droppings!




And here are two of their cousins - Black Swallowtail and Spicebush Swallowtail - both enjoying nectar from some common yard "weeds."






Gemmed Satyrs are tiny butterflies of the spring forest. Like most members of the Satyr family, they flit along low to the ground, not very fast but rarely stopping. It took a bit of careful pursuit to catch this one briefly pausing in the springtime sun.




Here's a rather rare early season butterfly. West Virginia Whites are getting scarcer for several reasons - loss of habitat (older forests), competition from the non-native Cabbage Whites, and destruction of their caterpillars due to a non-native invasive plant (garlic mustard). But we saw plenty of them this March!






These Eastern Commas are among our earliest spring flyers. They survive the winter as adults, and are often out and about on sunny days in February!






Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of early butterflies, and hoping to have some later-season species to post soon. Thanks for any comments & suggestions!


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05-09-2016, 09:29 PM   #2
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Wonderful series, great job on just about everything. I have to admit that number 2 is my favorite. It looks as though he has just been cleared for takeoff.

Thanks a million.

Tonytee
05-09-2016, 11:06 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by mole Quote
Late March and early April brought East Tennessee a warm dry spell that was perfect for emerging butterflies. Here are a few sample shots.

Falcate Orange Tips rarely perch - but this one was waiting early one morning for the sun to come and warm him.




This Tiger Swallowtail had just emerged and dried its wings, and was also waiting for some "solar heating."




Here's another Tiger, joined by his cousin Zebra - Zebra Swallowtail! Both are "feasting" on some mink droppings!




And here are two of their cousins - Black Swallowtail and Spicebush Swallowtail - both enjoying nectar from some common yard "weeds."






Gemmed Satyrs are tiny butterflies of the spring forest. Like most members of the Satyr family, they flit along low to the ground, not very fast but rarely stopping. It took a bit of careful pursuit to catch this one briefly pausing in the springtime sun.




Here's a rather rare early season butterfly. West Virginia Whites are getting scarcer for several reasons - loss of habitat (older forests), competition from the non-native Cabbage Whites, and destruction of their caterpillars due to a non-native invasive plant (garlic mustard). But we saw plenty of them this March!






These Eastern Commas are among our earliest spring flyers. They survive the winter as adults, and are often out and about on sunny days in February!






Hope you enjoyed the brief tour of early butterflies, and hoping to have some later-season species to post soon. Thanks for any comments & suggestions!
Excellent captures all! Thanks for sharing and the extra information about them. Amazing "small" world out there. :-)
CV
05-09-2016, 11:24 PM   #4
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A great series of cleanly defined shots.

05-09-2016, 11:45 PM - 1 Like   #5
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The first photograph of the West Virginia Whites splits my bean. The detail in the butterfly and the background are tremendous. I chased cabbage whites from one end of our garden to the other and still ended up with nothing so I appreciate the difficulty of making one god cpture, let alone the series you have produced
05-10-2016, 02:57 AM   #6
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Fantastic series, I was lucky enough to see a few of these recently. I love your posts.
05-10-2016, 05:26 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing, great work!
05-10-2016, 05:52 AM   #8
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Always love to see what you have been up to ranger and these are no exception.

05-10-2016, 06:22 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Tonytee Quote
Wonderful series, great job on just about everything. I have to admit that number 2 is my favorite. It looks as though he has just been cleared for takeoff.

Thanks a million.

Tonytee
Thanks! #2 was a freshly-emerged Tiger. It was a very cool morning, and he needed a bit of extra sunning to take off. So it was easy to get "up close and personal" for that shot.


QuoteOriginally posted by Charlie Victor Quote
Excellent captures all! Thanks for sharing and the extra information about them. Amazing "small" world out there. :-)
CV
It sure is an amazing world - so glad you enjoyed these few snapshots of it!


QuoteOriginally posted by eaglem Quote
A great series of cleanly defined shots.
Thanks so much!


QuoteOriginally posted by Murra54 Quote
The first photograph of the West Virginia Whites splits my bean. The detail in the butterfly and the background are tremendous. I chased cabbage whites from one end of our garden to the other and still ended up with nothing so I appreciate the difficulty of making one god cpture, let alone the series you have produced
Glad you enjoyed them! For me, chasing rarely works. Better to watch and see if the 'fly has a favorite perch, or favorite nectar spot, then just wait until he returns. (For some male butterflies, the favorite spot may be a bit of dung, or some urine-soaked ground!!)

QuoteOriginally posted by Jacquot Quote
Fantastic series, I was lucky enough to see a few of these recently. I love your posts.
You are too kind!


QuoteOriginally posted by TER-OR Quote
Thanks for sharing, great work!
Thanks for taking time to comment!


QuoteOriginally posted by slowpez Quote
Always love to see what you have been up to ranger and these are no exception.
Thanks so much. It's been a very busy spring, and I still have many 100's of photos to sort through. Will try to post some more in a week or two...
05-20-2016, 01:12 AM   #10
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Great detail!

Adam
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