Letting The Light In

Hello friends! Tonight’s feature image is titled “Pipevine Swallowtail In The Late Summer Sun” and is available for purchase by following the instructions at the bottom of the article.

A golden ray of sunshine sweeps across the edge of the Appalachian forest. An older Pipevine Swallowtail angles herself to catch as much of this warmth as it can. Her beautiful wings wings are worn and tattered from predator encounters. She seems to be sstruggling pull her body to just the right spot as the last shadow fades away. Oh, but once the light hits her wings things change drastically. Her movement becomes fluid and with shivering wings she suddenly becomes airborne. She flutters and soars with every bit of the grace and agility that she’s always had. All it took to renew her strength was to let the light in.

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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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!❤

Fluttering Beauty Surrounds Me

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

The morning sun slowly peeks over Little Elk Mountain. The cool of the night still lingers in the shadowy side of the hills. I have been catching up on a few light chores and happened to notice the rapid movements in the off lawn area of my property. I allow nature to take its course there and have been blessed with an abundance of Jewelweed there. Aside from foraging opportunities the Jewelweed provides humans it’s excellent forage for butterflies and bees as well as hummingbirds. So I’m also blessed to have an abundance of life that seems happy to share my space. Today it’s been Pipevine Swallowtail Butterflies. At first you only notice one or two. Then, a third and fourth. As you begin to look deeper into the bushes it hard to believe that you didn’t notice all the wings shivering as they feed.

So, into the house I went to abandon my lawnmower in favor of my big camera. I opted for the 300 mm lens so that I didn’t have to try to get real close. This allows the butterflies to behave naturally and keeps my shadow out of the frame.

As the butterfly in tonight’s feature image fed I noticed that only the forewings shiver. This is done to keep it warm enough for flight but while researching I saw one source that points out butterflies pump their wings while feeding because their proboscis works like a siphon and the wing movement helps them feed. I also learned that when they emerge from the cocoon they have to assemble the proboscis from the two mouth parts they’re born with and that if they don’t get it right they will starve.

Irregardless of the scientific trivia surrounding the butterfly they do fill my life with beauty.

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

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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!❤

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

If you would like to Follow me on Facebook the web address is

https://www.facebook.com/aviewfromthelens/

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!❤