Thursday, September 06, 2007
I was lucky enough to be charmed by this little guy for about an hour on Tuesday evening. It was crawling around the birdfeeder slowly opening and closing its wings when I got home from work. It was so perfect, I think it had probably recently emerged from its cocoon. There was a second one flitting around in my flower beds. After taking a few dozen photos, I went inside to fetch my field guide, because I always want to know what it is that I have observed. This is a brushfoot butterfly, limenitis arthemis, commonly known as a "red-spotted purple". This species mimics the coloration of the poisonous pipevine swallowtail butterfly as a protection against predators. I love the latin names for flora and fauna, thus the fancy-pants post title.
I am fascinated by the ordinary world of the suburban back yard. You don't need an exotic location for a photography safari. All you need is some patience and a good eye for finding the wonder in your surroundings, wherever you happen to be. There is a ton of life around you, and interesting discoveries to be made, whether you are in an exotic locale or in your own yard.
And who says mother nature doesn't have a sense of humor? This photo makes me smile: