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Posts Tagged ‘Joe-Pye weed’

I love butterflies and am thrilled that I am finally beginning to see them more regularly after a slow start to this season. I spotted this beautiful female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) last week at Jackson Miles Abbott Wetland Refuge perched high in a patch of what looks like Joe Pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum).

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (Papilio glaucus) were definitely enjoying this patch of Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) when I spotted them last Saturday at Riverbend Park. The butterfly in the foreground is a dark morph female and I believe the one in the background is a male. One of the cool things about Eastern Tiger Swallowtails is that females come in two varieties, one with coloration close to that of the male and one with the dark colors that you see in the image below.

This image is a a pretty straightforward presentation of a fairly common subject, but there is something about the composition that I really like. Maybe it’s the contrasting colors or the overlapping shapes. Who knows? So often I like what I like without being able to articulate the precise reasons why.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

 

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Hot, humid summer days may be a little tough on us, but butterflies seem to love them. I captured this shot of a spectacular Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus) this past weekend at Huntley Meadows Park as it sipped nectar from what I think is Joe-Pye weed (g. Eutrochium). (I am a bit uncertain about the plant identification and wonder if it might instead be a kind of milkweed, but “Joe Pye” rhymes with butterfly and sounds cooler, so I’ll go with that as a possible identification.)

Unlike many butterflies that I see at this time of the year whose wings are tattered and torn, this butterfly seemed to be in perfect condition. The sun was shining brightly when I took these shots and I was really afraid of blowing out the highlights of this lightly-c0lored butterfly. I switched the metering on my camera to spot metering and was able to get a good exposure of the butterfly and the background went really dark, adding a bit of drama to the images.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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