Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pic of The Day

    Those of you who follow the blog know that I have been traveling and shooting over the spring and summer. My journey has taken me from Alabama, north to Michigan, as far west as Idaho, then south to Patagonia, Arizona and finally home.  I have decided to post images in the order of location as we traveled.  Thus, the first images I post are from Michigan,  The state in which I did my undergraduate work, and cut my teeth in photography.  Michigan is one of my favorite states; its landscape is most condusive for bird and nature photography.
       We have spent 42 days on the road and I have lots of images to post.  I will try to post every couple of days, so please check the blog often…….but, "the best laid plans of mice and men”…….  Bobby

     Zebra Butterfly, Heliconius charitonius – Sarett Nature Center; Benton Harbor, Michigan:  The Zebra is a common butterfly throughout many of the Gulf States.  I encounter my first Zebra on Anhinga Trail in Everglades National Park back in 1978 on the first trip my wife and I took together in the glades. 
     The Zebra is very common in the Everglades and was designated the Florida state butterfly in 1996.  It is commonly found in hammocks and thickets.  The zebra I saw back in “78” was a striking butterfly with its yellow stripes on black wings.  There must have been hundreds flying about and I did get the opportunity to shoot images back then.  Every time I head to the glades in spring I am on the constant lookout for this fluttering beauty.
     For this image I did not have to go to the glades.  On my way northward in early June I made a stop at Sarett Nature Center in Benton Harbor, Michigan.  For its second year, Sarett has established a butterfly house.  The butterflies are those found in the southern states.  The butterfly house provided me with great opportunities to photograph these flighty creatures just as soon as they emerged from their cocoons. 
     After shooing for more than an hour I found these “love birds,” or should I say, “love butterflies,” hanging in perfect symmetrical balance against a non-obtrusive background.  I used a tripod and the depth-of-field preview button to check sharpness from the front to back of the butterflies.  Keeping the butterflies in focus while maintaining an out of focus background was essential to the visual success of the image.
Of all the images shot at the butterfly house, this was my favorite.  My trip had just begun, and was off to a great start!

See other butterflies from this trip posted on the blog by selecting these links: and

Nikon D7000, Nikkor 300mm 2.8, 1/320sec. @ f5.6, on tripod

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