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Old May 17, 2011, 9:58 PM   #1
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Default Hard Butterflies II - California Dogface

The California Dogface is the State Butterfly of California. These small butterflies are not hard to photograph when perched (but they don't let you get too close), and their wings are always folded - they are almost never photographed alive with the wings open so the pattern can be seen. Most publications have only photos of pinned museum spread specimens. Their flight is fast and erratic, so it is almost impossible to get a picture in flight. I managed to catch one fluttering its wings while insecurely perched on a whorl of sage flowers, and took a bunch of blurry shots, but got some which showed the "dogface" pattern (use your imagination - eye, snout, mouth in profile), and I am posting the least blurry one that shows the entire dog's head. Only the males show the pattern - females are plain and paler. Females lay their tiny eggs singly. K5, Sigma 70-300 mm APO Macro.

1 male perched

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2 fluttering male

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3 two males

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4 female

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5 her egg

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Old May 17, 2011, 10:24 PM   #2
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Another great butterfly family portrait series! Especially like #3 - the "bookend butterflies!"
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Old May 18, 2011, 3:20 PM   #3
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I think #4 is great, the colors, textures, sharpness, and composition
Nice job.

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Old May 18, 2011, 5:26 PM   #4
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#4 for me, beautiful!
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Old May 18, 2011, 7:15 PM   #5
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An interesting series! I've seen these butterflies occasionally, never knew they were the state butterfly. I don't think I've ever seen one enough to notice the dog face - fascinating!

P.S. I see skippers much more often, these I only see once in a while. They aren't all that common in my area.
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Old May 24, 2011, 5:37 PM   #6
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Thanks for the comments. No.4 is my favorite, too, for the reasons mentioned by Hans. I like No 3, as well, as did Mole, but think composition-wise it might be improved by cropping. I had originally left the shot uncropped, as it show the length of the stem between nodes, which is characteristic of some sages like Chia (or California Sage), and the Cleveland Sage (a butterfly favorite) which this might be. Which crop do you prefer?

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Old May 24, 2011, 9:56 PM   #7
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Again I say Wow!
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Old May 24, 2011, 11:22 PM   #8
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Beautiful pictures of both the Butterflies and the plants.

That egg is something of which I've never seen before. Simple but elegant. Like that other perfect shape in nature...the rain drop.
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Old May 31, 2011, 3:58 PM   #9
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Thanks Ira and Les

Quote:
Originally Posted by lesmore49 View Post
That egg is something of which I've never seen before.
Funny thing is, neither had the docents in the Butterfly House - I noticed one of them lifting the same leaves looking unsuccessfully for Monarch eggs underneath where they usually deposit them - she hadn't seen the inconspicuous and very small single Dogface eggs on the tops and didn't even know what they were when I pointed them out!
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Old Jun 1, 2011, 8:45 AM   #10
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Another great capture, Pen.
I can remember chasing them around in the back yard when I was about 6-7 years old.
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