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Posts Tagged ‘Cabbage White butterfly’

A butterfly in December? I was shocked and thrilled to see this tattered Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) flying around yesterday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

I photographed this little butterfly with my telephoto zoom lens fully extended to 600mm. I contemplated cropping the image, but decided that I really like the look and feel of all of the fallen leaves and left it uncropped. I also like the way that the veining in the leaves seems to mirror the veining in the butterfly’s white wings.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Today I decided to feature two butterflies that I have seen over the past week. I saw them at different times and at different places, so normally I would not put them together in a posting.

I was struck, however, by the contrast between the two of them. One of them, a Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus), is brightly colored and hard to miss. The other, a Cabbage White (Pieris rapae) is so pale and nondescript that many people don’t notice it at all or dismiss it as being “only” a moth.

Beauty speaks to people in individual deeply personal ways. I find these two butterflies to be equally beautiful.

What do you think? Instinctively do you find one of these two to be more beautiful than the other?

Of course, there is no “right” answer. It seems to me that beauty is almost always subjective rather than universal. Our assessments of beauty tend to be influenced by a whole host of internal factors including our mood, personality, and background as much as by the external characteristics of the subject being considered.

Viceroy butterfly

Cabbage White butterfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

 

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In a moment of calm amidst the storms this past Monday, I captured this shot of a beautiful little Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) in the garden of my neighbor and fellow photographer Cindy Dyer. The shot is a little grainy, because there was not a great deal of light, but somehow the image fills me with an overwhelming sense of serenity.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are small and skittish and you probably don’t pay much attention to them—you might even think that they are merely moths. If you look closely, though, you’ll discover that they have beautiful, speckled green eyes.

I love the way that a macro lens reveals amazing details that are there, but that we never see or simply take for granted. I took these photos yesterday during a brief trip to Green Spring Gardens, a wonderful, county-run historic garden not far from where I live.

Cabbage White

 

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are quite common, but many people ignore them, assuming they are “only” moths. I find real beauty in their simple elegance, like this one I spotted last weekend in the garden of my friend Cindy Dyer.

The butterfly was already white and black, so I decided to play around and remove color from the rest of the image too. I like the look of the black-and-white image, but decided to include the color version so that you can decide for yourself which one you prefer.

Cabbage White

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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How far do you usually travel when you want to take some photos? I capture a lot of my wildlife/nature images in my local area, but generally I get into my car and travel at least a few miles before I begin shooting.

Sometimes, though, I feel the urge to shoot, but don’t really want to travel far. In those moments I will usually walk over to the townhouse of my neighbor, fellow photographer Cindy Dyer, who always seems to have an assortment of photogenic flowers in bloom.

Last week I chased a Cabbage White butterfly (Pieris rapae) that I spotted fluttering about the flowers in garden. It passed by the globe thistles and the cone flowers and finally perched for a moment on a lavender plant. The sun was shining brightly, which I knew would create problems in getting a proper exposure of the dazzling white wings of the butterfly. I switched my metering to spot metering and the wings retained their details, but the background became really dark, creating a dramatic lighting effect that I really like. As always, I was thrilled to be able to see the beautiful green eye of this common butterfly that is often ignored or simply taken for granted.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Cabbage White butterflies (Pieris rapae) are very active and their blindingly white wings often cause images to be overexposed. When the light is right, though, you can see their enchanting speckled green eyes, like those of this butterfly that I spotted during a recent trip to Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, Maryland.

Cabbage White

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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