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Posts Tagged ‘American Painted Lady butterfly’

I spotted this beautiful American Lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis) yesterday morning as I was exploring one of the trails at Occoquan Regional Park. There is a similar-looking butterfly called a Painted Lady and I had to wait until I got home to figure out which one I had photographed. The American Lady has two large eye spots on each hind wing, while the Painted Lady has four. The second image below, I believe, shows only two eye spots.

I love to try to time my butterfly photos to get shots when the wings are fully opened, revealing the butterfly’s inner beauty. In this case, though, I think that the American Lady butterfly is even more stunning when its wings are closed. Alas, I couldn’t move fast enough to get a good side shot before she flew away. The second shot at least gives you a general sense of how pretty she is.

American Lady

American Lady

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

 

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I spotted this beautiful American Lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis) during a quick visit this past Saturday morning to Green Spring Gardens, a county-run historic garden not far from where I live. A lot of butterflies were active that day, but my eyes were immediately drawn to this American Lady, a species that I do not see very often. I had to chase it a bit before it stopped to feed on this flower, which was so popular that the American Lady had to share it with a much smaller skipper butterfly. The flower was growing near a fenced in area of public plots where people grow vegetables and the fence caused the striped effect in the background.

Although I spend most of my time photographing subjects in the wild, it was nice to visit a more cultivated place that was still ablaze with summer colors. I am quite conscious of the fact that the summer is slowly slipping away.

American Lady

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Prior to this past weekend I had never seen an American Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis) and now it seems like they are everywhere, if you define “everywhere” as two separate locations within a few days.

Previously I posted a photo of the American Painted Lady butterfly in beautiful soft light in a shot taken from the side. On Sunday, just as I was getting ready to leave Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia, I saw a flash of color and realized that it was a beautiful butterfly. Upon closer examination I recognized the now familiar coloration of the American Painted Lady.

She settled onto a plant and seemed to pose for me, as though she could put aside the normal activities of feeding for a moment. The late afternoon light was behind her and was still bright, causing some of the highlights to be blown out. However, the light also gave her a glow, partially illuminated her wings, and highlighted her reddish hair. The angle of he shot provides an unusual, but pleasing, view of this butterfly.

The shot may not be perfect, but you can’t help but admire the beauty of this American Painted Lady.

The lady is a redhead

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Today I photographed an American Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis), which is also know as an American Lady.

At first I thought it was a Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui), a type that I had previously photographed (see my posting from 3 August). A closer examination and some internet research showed it was not the same butterfly.  You can find more information in Wikipedia but the easiest identification features for me were the eyespots on the ventral side—the American Painted Lady has two large eyespots and the Painted Lady has four smaller ones.

I learned a good lesson today too about the need to carry a camera with me as often as possible. I took this photo at the outdoor sales area at a local Home Depot store.

American Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa virginiensis)

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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