Friday, July 30, 2010

West Coast Lady

The alleged territorial habits of butterflies in the Vanessa genus might be what makes these insects so absorbing to photograph. They startle if you get too close, but having indulged in their obligatory barnstorming session, they generally settle down again quite close to the spot they just left. It gets to be a bit of a game, seeing just how carefully close you can move before they explode into flight. More tricky is keeping them in constant sight through the eccentricities of their arial acrobatics so they might not disappear in a sudden landing. The pictures here are all the same butterfly, over the space of about 5 minutes at the Davis Arboretum last Sunday. I had guessed it to be a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui),but when it settled down at last with its wings open, the blue spots marked it as a West Coast Lady (Vanessa annabella).


Mahri said...

Those are some mighty fine pictures. Very professional. I am impressed.

Molly said...

Thank you, kindly! These were certainly some of the most entertaining pictures to shoot. Those butterflies are funny critters; not so coy as the majority of their cousins.