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Old Apr 12, 2011, 5:48 AM   #11
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Rodney - Thanks - they are indeed lovely insects - and it's hard to catch one resting for long!

MtnMan - Thanks for the specific and helpful comments on the waterfalls! Your yellow swallowtails are probably Tiger Swallowtails - we are seeing LOTS of them out lately. There's a reason you don't see many Zebra Swallowtails in your area. Most butterflies' caterpillars are very picky, and will only eat one or a few kinds of food (like Monarch butterfly caterpillars that have to have milkweed leaves). Zebra Swallowtail caterpillars will only eat PawPaw leaves. So if there are no Paw Paw trees in your area, there won't be Zebra Swallowtails (except maybe a wanderer just passing through)

Hans - Thanks so much! A polarizing filter, and playing a bit with exposure, helps with the waterfalls... (PS - will be posting several more waterfall photos soon)

Jehan - Glad you liked it. The Pentax A 70-210 is a fine lens for the bigger butterflies, but doesn't focus close enough for the little ones. (I might try an extension tube with it...)

Kevin - Thanks! We are seeing even more butterflies emerging, but I haven't had much time to chase them lately (park's big spring special event coming this weekend). Trailing Arbutus is not as common as it once was - folks used to collect it in large quantities up in the mountains, to sell to folks in the city who were lonesome for the mountain flowers of their childhood. Over-collecting (plus loss of habitat) nearly wiped it out in places. But it seems to be (slowly) coming back.
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