Butterflies

Ringlet Hanging on Grass Blade

I have thousands and thousands of photographs that either sit on a hard drive or are in a filing cabinet in slide form. A very small percentage have seen the light of day, I decided to change that. Recently I’ve started working on a 30 year retrospective book project and I’ve been going through my archives, here is one the photos I found taken on Fuji Velvia film. I used to be obsessed with macro photography but in recent years I’ve strayed away from that, I think it’s about time to go back to my roots.

Here’s another photo I neglected to post last summer. I had to turn off the comments feature, I really enjoy legitmate comments but I’m getting hundreds of spam postings every week and I just can’t figure out how to prevent it.

Ringlet on Blade of Grass

I took this photo last Sunday morning. I used to do this type of photography a lot in my film shooting days. I still do a lot of close ups but not so much the early morning dew variety. Mainly because my favorite areas are no longer accessible. Houses have gone up blocking my favorite place in Sabattus. Across the street from my home was a big meadow but the property changed hands and now the new owner keeps it mowed. Not much wildlife is attracted to a huge lawn.

Saturday afternoon I took a walk through the woods in the back of my house to a small meadow. I found a fox den there last year so I wanted to check it out. About a month and a half ago I was looking it over when two baby foxes came bounding out about six feet away from me. We just stood there looking at each other for about five seconds then they dashed back into the hole. On Saturday I wanted to check if they were still around but the den was deserted so the mother and young have moved on.

One thing I did notice, there were a lot of butterflies flitting around the field. Butterflies don’t fly at night, ¬†they land on blades of grass, flowers or leaves to wait out the cool of the evening. I knew if I came back in the morning I’d have some dew cover subjects to photograph. Rather than wait till morning, to search for my subjects to photograph, I went back to the field around 8 PM Saturday. The sun had settled behind the trees and it was starting to cool off, that’s when butterflies settle for the night. I found a bunch of prairie ringlets, that’s the butterfly in the photo above. I grabbed some fallen branches from the woods and I stuck them in the ground near each butterfly I found. The branch marked where each one was so the next morning I could walk up to the branch and there was the butterfly in all its dew covered glory waiting to be photographed. I’ve been using this technique since 1985 and when I go back in the morning the butterfly is always in the same spot as the night before. Instead of using the first part of the morning searching I can start taking pictures right away. I took other photos on this morning which I’ll be posting in the future. I’ll also be going back to the same place throughout the summer and hopefully will be getting more interesting pictures.