Tattered Wings

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Tattered Wings” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

The butterfly bush got it’s name for a reason. This bush near the state road garage in Glen Ferris was so full of butterflies that it looked like the scene of a movie. Multiple species of Swallowtail were swarming the blooms. One particular Pipevine Swallowtail caught my eye. The wings were pretty torn up. Presumably from multiple bird attacks. The butterfly obviously had plenty of opportunities to just give up and let a bird take her but here she was. Going about her daily life as if nothing ever happened.

We often see the moment a butterfly emerges from the crysalis with it’s beautiful wings in full glory but we don’t often see the wings after the daily challenges of a lifetime in the wild. At first this might seem like a downer. But let me tell you now that it’s not. Why? Because this butterfly personifies a winner. This is what a winner looks like. This butterfly has obviously overcome adversity.

As often as have been advised on how to be successful in anything the one piece of advice that comes up consistently is “Don’t give up.” Sure there’s a lot more to it but in order to perform the other tasks you have to not give up before reaching that point.

Pop culture has given us the picture of a winner as a person who has always done it right, never making a mistake and just casually strolling into victory. That’s a lie. Even a person who we would consider to be a savant in a particular field has had to overcome struggles of one kind or another. We don’t really notice the that person’s “tattered wings” because we’re focused on the accomplishment and not the struggle that got them there.

As I drew closer to the butterfly trying to get a better frame showing just how shredded the wings were she proved just how mastery of the air she still has as she lifted effortlessly from the bloom and moved out of my reach between frames.

Since there was more butterflies there than I could count I chose not to pressure her any farther. I was still looking for a Spicebush Swallowtail in the first place and part of not giving up includes being focused on the goal.

I didn’t find the particular species that I was looking for that day in spite of getting several nice photos that I will be releasing in upcoming posts. But I did get encouragement to keep on keeping on.

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Pipevine Swallowtail

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pipevine Swallowtail 62416” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

I am still on the hunt for a Spicebush Swallowtail. What I didn’t account for was the number of look-alikes that dwell in the Appalachian Mountains. The more that read up on the differences between the Swallowtail Butterflies the more that I’ve had to go back and check references as I sort through my photos. I have Spicebush on my property. I have taken lots of butterfly pictures. There should be at least one of the Spicebush Swallowtail. What I’ve discovered is that the majority of black and blue photos that I have are of the Pipevine Swallowtail.

The online guides all show that a major distinction between the two species is that the abdomen of the Pipevine Swallowtail is blue.

Pipevine Swallowtails get their name from the fact that they host on pipevine which is also known as Camphor Vine.

A twisted camphor vine in Kanawha County West Virginia.

As the larvae feeds on the Pipevine it sequesters certain chemicals in the vine that makes it taste horrible to predators. Or so the experts say. I’m not a bit envious of the scientists who had to test that theory. 🤢

The males are know to collect and accumulate sodium from the mud as a gift to bribe the female with. Wikipedia says that this is most common in presence of other rival males. I checked and found that I have a photo of this behavior.

I believe that this photo shows two male Pipevine Swallowtails gathering sodium from the mud while a female in the middle waits to see who has the better gift.

An insect’s nervous system is dependent on the same mineral balance as a human. But they can’t can’t really get everything they need from nectar. So butterflies and some others look for those dissolved minerals in wet places.

Trying to get a good shot of a butterfly has proven to be a little bit of challenge. I stepped out of the house yesterday to find a blue and black Swallowtail zooming around my yard like a jet fighter. Even using the same technique that I’ve used to photograph athletes failed to provide a positive ID on the butterfly.

This is a blue and black Swallowtail coming in low like a jet fighter but I still can’t get a positive ID on which kind.

I needed a good look at the underside of the wings. I followed the behavior pattern of this particular butterfly and noticed that it seemed to be flying a figure eight pattern as it searched for nectar. I anticipated it’s next loop and keeping my camera in burst mode I managed to get a shot in the underside of the wings.

I managed to catch the underside of the wings as the butterfly engaged in a breaking maneuver.

The angle of the sun caused the butterfly to be in it’s own shadow but I can make out a single row of dots on the underside of the wings. If this were a Spicebush Swallowtail there would be a double row. The single row of dots and the fact that at least one of the dots is blue and not orange tells me that it’s most likely to be a dark morph of the female Tiger Swallowtail.

And so the search for a Spicebush Swallowtail continues for now. I know that there’s one close by and that I just need to be in the right place at the right time to catch it.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Tiger Swallowtail

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Tiger Swallowtail 6319” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

As I continue to watch the swarm of butterflies on the weeds near my day job I’m reminded of the iconic animation of flowers turning into butterflies and filling the air. There was so many colors swirling around that it was a little surreal. The entomology class that I took focused on pest control and we tended to lump all of the Swallowtail Butterflies into one group. And it actually wasn’t until I started researching for this series that I learned of all the subspecies. This one is the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail.

Tonight’s feature image is a male. The males are always yellow and do not have blue spots on the hind wings.

The female Tiger Swallowtail seems to have a diverse wardrobe. That ranges from light yellow to dark black.

A female Tiger Swallowtail ( dark morph).

The female always has blue dots on the lower hind wings and is easy to confuse with the Spicebush Swallowtail. ( The Spicebush Swallowtail will be in an upcoming post)

A notable behavior of the Tiger Swallowtail is puddling. They tend to gather together on the edges of water for a drink. It’s not uncommon for butterflies to get water and minerals this way but it’s only the Tiger Swallowtail that I’ve seen doing this as a group. When I was a teenager I remember one trip to the lake when one of my friends managed to capture several of the Tiger Swallowtails at once. He grinned and slipped beneath the surface taking the butterflies with him. At the time I thought that the butterflies would be harmed but now I know that insects are basically balloons. Their complex respiratory system actually gives them the ability to hold their breath for several minutes. When he released them under water he managed to keep them in a bubble and the sight of the butterflies emerging from the water was pretty spectacular.

With the knowledge of puddling I think that it might be possible to entice the Swallowtail Butterflies to come closer by mixing a salty/sweet solution and soaking a sponge for them to gather on.

I don’t have a picture of the catipiller but it’s kinda special too. The Swallowtail catipiller has a butt that mimics the head of a snake complete with large cartoon eyes!

As we head into summer some of more colorful blooms will the choice food for butterflies of all kinds and I hope to bring you some spectacular images. Have a blessed day everyone!

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

The Great Spangled Fritillary

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled Spangled “Fritillary And Indian Hemp” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

When I stepped out the door of the office I was greeted by the fluttering of wings. The patch of Indian Hemp was full of butterflies. In fact there was several varieties. I saw little wood nymphs, painted ladies, yellow and black Swallowtail butterflies as well as small blues. I’ll be posting pictures of some of them later but tonight it’s the Great Spangled Fritillary.

Butterflies and moths are host specific. They require certain plants to complete their lifecycles. For the Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly the host plants are native violets. Which means that if you want this type of butterfly then you’ll want to encourage native violets for the catipiller. During the summer months the female Fritillary lays her eggs on the violets but after they hatch they remain dormant until Spring. Only then will they begin to feed on the violet leaves. The catipiller will molt six times before it gets it’s wings! And what beautiful wings they’re going to be! I’m not really certain but I believe that the feature image shows a male. In researching the article I learned that the females are more brown than the male. Either way it’s a beautiful species.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

The Skipper & The Rose

Hello Friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Skipper On Rose 51819″and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

A sweet scent, a soft rain and fluttering wings greet me as the big blue truck rolls into the driveway. The rain had already slowed down to the odd droplet here and there as I stepped gently towards the flower. Almost on queue the little skipper butterfly walked up over the edge of the bloom and posed. With one flip of her wings she playfully rose into the air. Her aerobatic dance spoke of pure joy at the return of the sunshine. I was intrigued by her agility in the air. She lopped the loop and dove back down beneath the bloom and popped up where she started. I couldn’t help but chuckle while murdering “Show-off” under my breath. But who could blame her for being proud of her skills? As she fluttered her wings to groom the rose into producing more nectar I decided that it was time to unload the truck and leave her to her meal. My mountain is full of life and life is joy incarnate.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

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If you’re enjoying my blog and don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website.

https://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Click here to visithttps://lloydslensphotographyllc.com/

Did you know that I also do portraits by appointment? If you’re interested in a portrait session either message me on Facebook or Use the Contact form. The YouTube link below takes you one of my slideshows.

https://youtu.be/FDcrY6w8oY8

Have you checked out the Zazzle Store?

I’m now using Zazzle to fulfil orders. What this means for you is a secure way to place an order, discount codes & a broader product selection! Simply message me on Facebook oruse the contact form on my websiteand tell me which image you want and I’ll reply with a direct link to where you can place the order.

Clicking on the photo takes you tohttps://www.zazzle.com/lloydslensphotos?rf=238248269630914251

Lastly, all of the photos and writings are my original work unless otherwise specified and are not to be copied or reproduced without expressed written permission from the photographer.

Thank you again for your support of my page!❤

Seeking A Sign, My Natural Calendar

Today cold winter weather has me longing for green trees, brightly colored flowers and a warm breeze. If I concentrate hard enough I can almost smell the honeysuckle. As usual, the second week of January finds me done with winter. Santa Claus has come and gone, the festive lights are put away for another year and Christmas candy has all been eaten. What’s a person to do in the digital age other than pull out some photos that warm the soul even if the body still feels the chilly air. This is time I begin to watch the buds on the trees. It’s really early to see any sign of change. Normally it won’t be until March before the trees start to wake up from the long slumber that began in late October. But, like a schoolboy waiting for the last bell to ring I wil watch the clock. The deep frost is the first sign of change. That began today. The next phase is the deep snow. Usually that comes between the last two weeks of January and the first two weeks of February. Between Valentine’s Day and the end of March it’s a little random but the March winds mean that the season is changing. Next we start noticing less of a need for heavy jackets in the last week of March but don’t be fooled, that’s just a setup for the Easter snow. My guess is that there will be bunny tracks in a powdery dusting of winters last hoorah this year. Historically speaking, that’s it. Then the warmth comes back to the mountains and the honeysuckle blooms for real. I really don’t have much to base this on other than recollection and gut feeling but it helps me look for the next goal as the snow falls outside of my window.

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Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Black Swallowtail And Honeysuckle 1 and is available forpurchase by using the ContactForm on my website. ( justclick on the the bell below)

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Blue Treasure

Tiny wings dance in the warm summer breeze as I explore the edges of my yard. She seems so carefree as she flits and flickers from place to place. The pale blue wings are are a joy to behold as the shutter snaps. It’s as if the Spring violets came to life and took to the wind. I have watched these little butterflies my whole life and never really took the time to find out the name. At first I thought that it was “Small Blue” which is a species found in the U.K. and Asia. But with a second Google search I learned that it’s a Spring Azure. Both are from the Lycaenidae family. The internet is full of scientific data on the feeding and mating habits as well as the season and range and all of the wonderfully nerdy things that make the internet interesting. But the best part of the little blue butterflies that are spotted in the warmer months is the childlike giggle that comes from deep within the soul when they’re near.

Hello Friends and thank you for your support of my page. If you have enjoyed the photos or the writings please let me know by commenting and sharing my work on your social media. I also want to invite you to Follow Lloyds Lens Photography on Facebook

Ring this bell for Facebook

Recently, I’ve been made aware that many of my posts on Facebook are being buried in the feed. So, if you don’t want to miss a post then you can sign up for email alerts on my website at the bottom of theWelcome Page

Tonight’s Feature Image is titled “Blue Treasure” and is available for purchase by using the Contact Form on mywebsite.(Note, I do not share or sale contact information.EVER)

4X6 is $5.00

5X7 is $10.00

8X10 is $15.00

Some cropping may be necessary for certain sizes.

Ring this bell to order prints or schedule portraits

I’m also available for portraits by appointment. Use the Contact Form or message me on Facebook for details.