Monday, April 28, 2008

Painted Ladies Love Dandelions

Forest Zoo helped me photograph some of our flutter babies today. He provided dandelion delivery services. Then he put a butterfly on a dandelion and held it in the light for me, so I could move in close and capture some of the beauty of creation seen in a Painted Lady butterfly. Most of the time we just don't get a chance to look at a butterfly closely. If we do it is a special moment. Usually they are off to bounding off to better buttercups in a blink.

Our butterflies are so tame. They don't mind being close to us at all. They enjoyed the fresh dandelions so much they hardly paid any attention to how close I was putting my lens to their face.

The sunlight was just right, lighting up the butterfly, and the macro lens blurred out the background, so you can't see any kitchen chairs or dishes in the china cabinet. See the little white knots on the end of their antenna. I hadn't noticed them before until I started looking at the photographs I had taken today. Learning to look close enough to really see is an art.

Did you notice the double straw on this lady's proboscis? They use their proboscis for sucking up nectar. I noticed that after looking at the photos too.

Painted Ladies have compound eyes that are almost as big as their heads. Click to view an enlarged version of the above photo so you can see grains of the grains of pollen from the Dandelion on this Lady's eye.

When you see a butterfly flying by, you can't see how the color of their wings is made, but you can see amazing detail if you zoom in close with a macro lens. It is interesting to study the scales on their wings that make up the color. Click on the above photo so you can see it enlarged.

Painted Ladies have the scientific name of Vanessa cardui. Many girls have been named after this common butterfly. Vanessa is the brush foot genus. There are three other butterfly species that share the genus of Vanessa, including Red Admirals. You can learn more about Vanessa butterflies here.

7 bouquets of wildflowers (Comment here):

Barb-Harmony Art Mom said...

Wow, fantastic opportunity to take some awesome photographs. I am amazed by their beauty.

Thank you so much for sharing,
Barb-Harmony Art Mom

bobbie said...

These pictures are just amazing! Your butterfly babies are very tame. I've never managed to sneak up on one anywhere near that close. Guess I should have tried to make friends with them first.

Hildegard said...

They take my breath away, Elizabeth Joy. What a privilage to have such distinguished, colorful little guests in your home!

Teresa said...

Great Pictures Sis! Of course you had a great helper!!! You should get those pictures published. Thanks for sharing.

Mountain Heather said...

This is an amazing project. Alyssa wants to do it at our home, too! And your pictures show the amazing design down to the smallest detail! God's creation is so amazingly beautiful no mater how closely or far away you look at it.

Where did you order them from? And what kind of thistles do they like?

Pamela said...

his cute lil nose looks like a painted lady.... bwaa ha ha ha.
I just want to pinch his cheeks.

Theresa said...

WOW! AWESOME, STUPENDOUS Photographs!!! :o)