Posts Tagged ‘summer azure’

The weather has turned cooler, but traces of summer still remain, like this tiny Summer Azure butterfly (Celastrina neglecta) that I spotted last Wednesday at Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge. The Azure butterflies are among the smallest butterflies in our area, with a wing span of just over one inch (25 mm). My current approach is to shoot any insect that I can find—it won’t be long before they are all gone and I will change to a longer lens and focus primarily on birds.

Summer Azure

© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved.

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Tiny butterflies seem to be constantly in motion and their size and speed normally make them difficult to photograph.

However, this butterfly, which I think may be a Summer Azure butterfly (Celastrina neglecta), stayed perched on a Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) long enough to allow me and my fellow photographer, Cindy Dyer, to take multiple shots, including some with flash. There is a whole family of small Azure butterflies, which have a wingspan of about one inch (25mm) and look pretty similar, so please correct me if I have misidentified this insect.

We encountered this little butterfly on a recent trip to Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, Virginia. (You can check out Cindy’s image of this butterfly, along with her amazing photographs of other flowers and insects on her blog.)

I love large, colorful butterflies, like the Eastern Tiger Swallowtails that were virtually omnipresent in the garden that day, but there is something really special too about the delicate beauty and simple colors of this tiny butterfly. In this image, I like the way in which the muted tones of the butterfly provide a nice visual counterbalance to the bold colors of the flower.


© Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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This past weekend I chased around this little butterfly—which I think may be a Summer Azure butterfly (Celastrina neglecta)—for quite some time until it finally landed.

This butterfly was really tiny, with a wing span of only about an inch (2.5 cm), so it was hard to get close enough to get a decent shot without spooking it. It took flight a couple of times, but landed nearby so I could continue the hunt.

It is always fun to photography the larger, more colorful butterflies like the Eastern Swallowtail or the Monarch, but I find that these little butterflies have a simple beautiful of their own.


Michael Q. Powell. All rights reserved

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