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Old Mar 29, 2012, 8:30 PM   #1
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Default Little Butterflies

Our amazingly warm start to Springtime in East Tennessee hastened the wildflower bloom, but butterflies are emerging at a more normal pace. Here are just a few samples of two of my favorite early-season butterflies.

First a few snapshots of a very tiny one - the Spring Azure. This one was one of a crowd, all enjoying soaking up some much-needed moisture and minerals from animal droppings (!)
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 8:32 PM   #2
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And a few shots of one of my favorite early-season butterflies, the Falcate Orange Tip. These tiny members of the White family emerge early in the spring, and only live as adults for a few weeks. They are very hard (for me) to sneak up on - seem to be more cautious than most butterflies, and also spend a lot more time on the wing than perching.

Here's one shot of a female (only the males have the bright orange tips).
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 8:34 PM   #3
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Here are a few shots of a male, resting after (unsuccessfully) pursuing a female.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 8:39 PM   #4
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And some shots of a male "refueling" with nectar at: Bittercress, Spring Beauty, Chickweed, and Bloodroot.
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Old Mar 29, 2012, 8:43 PM   #5
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Spent part of today with several more species, but have not yet had time to check the photos. Will post as time permits. (Just for a teaser, here are a few shots of one of our overwintering butterfly species - Eastern Comma - who didn't quite make it into mid-spring).

As always, thanks for any comments, suggestions, and critique!
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Old Mar 31, 2012, 4:52 PM   #6
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Sporty little guy, that Orangetip, nicely photographed.

Both sexes of our Pacific (Sara) Orangetips have orange wingtips, but I don't get them in my backyard "butterfly garden" (which has been rather unproductive so far this year) - the closest we come to it is the related and relatively boring ever present Cabbage Whites.
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 4:24 AM   #7
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Oooh was going to rave about the butterfly photo's until I saw the spider ones, they are all wonderful but that second spider shot is superb!
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 3:47 PM   #8
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Great shots Mole ! Particularly like the spider and the butterfly series !
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 5:31 PM   #9
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Penolta - Glad you enjoyed the little OrangeTips, and hoping your garden will have more visitors soon!

Tachikoma - Thanks for your kind words. Have been playing a bit with the combination of Tamron Adaptall 90mm macro and 2X TC, for a 180mm 1:1 macro. It's nice and sharp, but a bit too prone to flare. Need to get a better hood before dragonfly season is upon us...

Kevin - So glad you enjoyed these!
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Old Apr 1, 2012, 11:30 PM   #10
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These are great shots Mole. I lack both the patience and the skill to take close-up photos of these shy and beautiful insects, but I greatly admire those who have those qualities!
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