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Posts Tagged ‘Common Buckeye’

The brightly colored summer butterflies have mostly disappeared, but Common Buckeye butterflies (Junonia coenia) still accompany me in great numbers as I walk the trails of Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The subdued, earthy shades of this beautiful butterfly seem a perfect match for the autumn season.

Common Buckeye

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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The directional lighting from the back and side gave a cool and dramatically uncommon vibe to this image of a Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) that I photographed on 31 August at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge.

The ground is saturated and rain continues to fall, so I am not sure that I will be out and about today with my camera. It is actually a good thing, I think, to go back and look over my photos—I sometimes get so caught up in taking new photos that I don’t stop and look over my slightly older ones. I am often pleasantly surprised to discover some jewels, like this image.

Common Buckeye

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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We are deep into autumn now, but some butterflies are still hanging in there, like this beautiful Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia) that I spotted during a recent trip to Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. I was actually a little shocked to see quite a few of these butterflies flying along the paths of the wildlife refuge and in some of the open areas. The challenge for me was getting one to pose in a way that would convey a sense of autumn. I was therefore thrilled when this one perched on a fallen leaf and and kept its wings wide open long enough for me to capture this shot.

Common Buckeye

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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If it hadn’t been moving, I am pretty sure that I would not have spotted this Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) on Friday at Huntley Meadows Park. The butterfly was perfectly camouflaged among all of the fallen leaves and even in this cropped image you have to look hard to see it.

Common Buckeye

I am also including a copy of the original image, in which the butterfly is even harder to find. The image reminds me of some of the complicated jigsaw puzzles that my Mom used to like to do when I was a child. I remember one puzzle that was a circular one depicting a plate of spaghetti. Needless to say, my Mom had a lot of patience and persistence.

Common Buckeye

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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This Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia) was so focused on the goldenrod flowers that it was either unaware of my presence or simply didn’t care on Monday at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetlands Refuge. I was therefore able to capture the beauty of the butterfly from a somewhat unusual angle that lets us see some of the wonderful markings on the body as well as on the wings.

Common Buckeye

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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I first spotted this small Common Buckeye Butterfly (Junonia coenia) as it was flying low above a grassy patch at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetlands Refuge. Periodically it would stop and I would attempt to get a shot of it. It was probably hilarious to watch our little pas de deux—the butterfly would fly and perch and I would bend my knees and crouch, which served as a signal for the butterfly to take off again.

I’m pretty patient, so we danced this way for quite a while before the butterfly decided to perch on some low vegetation rather than on the bare ground. I was finally able to capture a shot, though the butterfly didn’t pose long before taking off again.

Common Buckeye

As I continued the chase, my knees started getting a bit sore. I was thinking of giving up the chase when suddenly the butterfly flew higher into the air and landed on a buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis). These bushes are a virtual magnet for butterflies and I love the spiky spheres of the plant. I wasn’t able to get very close to the buttonbush, but captured this image that I really like.

Common Buckeye

The chase ended here and we went our separate ways. I hope that I never get too old or too self-conscious to chase butterflies, a pursuit that makes me feel like a carefree child again.

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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At first I thought it was only a leaf blowing in the breeze and then I slowly came to realize that it was a Common Buckeye butterfly (Junonia coenia), an unexpected sight in mid-November.

Although faded and tattered, this survivor butterfly is still spectacular, despite its “common” name.

Common Buckeye

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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