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Posts Tagged ‘Clouded Sulphur’

I love photographing the nondescript butterflies that are so common that they fly by virtually unnoticed, like this beautiful little sulphur butterfly that I spotted last week at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I believe it is an Orange Sulphur butterfly (Colias eurytheme), though it is often hard to distinguish that species from the Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice), so I am a little uncertain of the identification.

What I am certain of, however, is the delicate beauty of this butterfly and I am happy that I was able to capture some of that beauty in this image. As I gaze at this photo, I am reminded of the moment when I took it, a moment when I was enveloped by a sense of deep tranquility as the gorgeous sunlight illuminated the wings of the butterfly. Quite often when I am pursuing a subject, I can feel my heart racing a little as adrenaline kicks in.  This was one of the rare circumstances when I had the opposite physical reaction.

It is hard to describe in words what I was feeling, though it was definitely cool to experience. I hope that some of you will get a sense of that tranquility from this image. Iam becoming more and more convinced of the value of taking life a little more slowly, of opening myself up to experiencing the beauty that surrounds us every day.

sulphur butterfly

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Earlier this week I chased after this beautiful little butterfly at Green Spring Gardens, in Alexandria, Virginia. I am pretty sure that it’s a Clouded Sulphur butterfly (Colias philodice), but have no idea of the identity of the flower on which it is feeding. Although at first glance it may look like I used flash for this image, a close examination of the shadows shows the direction of the bright sunlight. I was using spot metering for this light-colored subject, which meant that the background was significantly underexposed when getting a proper exposure of the primary subject.

Clouded Sulphur

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The large butterflies seem to be gone, but I continue to occasionally see smaller sulphur butterflies nectaring on late blooming flowers.

There are several different varieties of sulphur butterflies that look a bit alike, so I am not certain in identifying this butterfly. At first I thought that this might be a Pink-edged Sulphur (Colias interior), but the range maps suggest that we may not be in the correct geographic region for that species.

I think it is more likely that this is a Clouded Sulphur butterfly (Colias philodice). As for the flower, it looks to me to be some variety of aster.

The weather is definitely getting colder—I had to scrape frost off my car’s windshield earlier this week—so I don’t know how much longer I’ll be seeing these little beauties. Beauty so often is transitory; all we can do is enjoy it and appreciate it until it is gone.

Clouded Sulphur

Clouded Sulphur

Clouded Sulphur

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Strange as it seems, I have been seeing more butterflies in the waning days of summer than I did at its height. I think that this little beauty, which I spotted on Monday at my local marshland park, is a Clouded Sulphur butterfly (Colias philodice).

Clouded Sulphur

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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As I search in vain for larger, colorful butterflies, I continue to be amazed by the beauty of the smaller ones, like this Clouded Sulphur butterfly (Colias philodice) that I observed last week at Green Spring Gardens in Alexandria, Virginia.

Generally I like my closest shots the best when I am shooting with my macro lens, but in this case, I think I prefer the first shot below, that I took from a bit farther back. I like the way in which you can see the shadowy representations in the background of the stalks of the same kind of floweras the one one which the butterfly is feeding.

clouded2_blogclouded1_blog

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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