Fluttery Friends

by Bethany Plonski July. 30, 2019 329 views

Over the weekend I visited the Chattahoochee Nature Center's butterfly exhibit. They have a small enclosed pavilion where you can walk around to see different kinds of butterflies. When you enter, they give you a little foam brush dipped in nectar, which you can offer to the butterflies to see if they'd like to land on it and taste it. And of course there were lots of butterfly-friendly plants too.

The pavilion was enclosed in a shiny mesh material, which made a nice soft background.

The pavilion was enclosed in a shiny mesh material, which made a nice soft background.

Malachite

Malachite

Malachite

Malachite

Julia longwing

Julia longwing

Some of the butterflies were attracted to the nectar brushes, but others were more interested in landing on visitors. The staff actually checks every person individually on the way out the door to make sure no butterflies are tagging along when people leave.

Julia longwing

Julia longwing

Thinking this might be a cabbage white or some other member of the pieris family

Thinking this might be a cabbage white or some other member of the pieris family

There were also lots of butterflies outside of the pavilion in the outdoor butterfly garden.

Gulf fritillary

Gulf fritillary

Monarch

Monarch

Zebra longwing

Zebra longwing

Eastern tiger swallowtail

Eastern tiger swallowtail

On the way out of the park, I saw an unfortunate little spectacle too. I noticed a mockingbird fighting with what at first seemed to be a smaller yellow bird. So I stayed to see what was going on, and once I got close enough to see what was happening, I realized it wasn't a bird but a big yellow moth.

The mockingbird got the upper had pretty quickly, stabbing at the moth and biting it repeatedly. Then several other birds came down from the trees one at a time, trying to chase the mockingbird away from its prey.

I wasn't fast enough to get a clear shot, but a brown thrasher actually stole the moth away from the mockingbird for a minute before another smaller bird charged the thrasher and it panicked and dropped the moth again. Then a kid kicked a stray soccer ball near the birds, and all of them suddenly flew away and seemed to completely forget what had just happened. So all that fighting over a potential meal that they just abandoned in the grass afterwards! Poor moth. :(

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Tsao T-F 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I always love butterflies.
The nice travel and color images really caught my eyes.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Thank you! I love butterflies too, and late summer is the best time to see them where I live. Hoping to have more photos of them soon. smile

2 months, 2 weeks ago Edited
Tsao T-F Replied to Bethany Plonski 1 month, 1 week ago

Dear Bethany, summer is the season of butterflies where I live also. I just post my 175th report about them. And I will post more photos soon.grinning

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Tsao T-F 1 month ago

Thank you for letting me know! I will go check it out now. This weekend I am hoping to get to a butterfly exhibit again. Can't wait!

1 month ago Edited
Russell Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Beautiful series. Thank you for showing and telling us the names.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Russell Smith 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you! Learning the names of all the critters and plants I see is one of my favorite things about nature photography.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wonderful series! Your macro lens was perfect for this set! Great tight foci and lovely bokeh! 
Always a lot of drama involved in the "eat or be eaten" stories in Nature.
Excellent camera work!
Thanks for sharing these w/us!grinning+1

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Jay Boggess 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Jay! I'm really happy you enjoyed it. This lens is my absolute favorite. It was a little unwieldy in a small, crowded space like this, but I love being able to zoom way in. smile

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Jay Boggess Replied to Bethany Plonski 2 months, 3 weeks ago

The pleasure is all mine....
+1+1 grinning+1
I can certainly see why you are so fond of the lens! 

Excellent results!!!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Buster Bruce 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Beautiful shots with exquisite clarity Bethany!  Butterflies are a gift of beauty in an otherwise intimidating insect world. When traveling in central Africa I collected butterflies of such color and diversity. I had them mounted in a glass coffee table. Poor moth!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Buster Bruce 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much! I know what you mean, I almost forget they are even insects sometimes. They are just in a class of their own. smile I bet it was amazing to see all the different species in other places!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Sherry Hill 2 months, 3 weeks ago

i love the colours and bokeh of #2.. 
i haven't been to a butterfly conservatory in so long.. they are magical.. 
beautiful captures..

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Sherry Hill 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Sherry! I haven't been to one since I was probably 10 or 11 years old, and so glad I went. There is another really big conservatory about 2 hours from me - need to make that drive soon.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Antonio Gil 2 months, 3 weeks ago

#2 - perfect light and bokeh. Love the sequence of beautiful butterflies.
Nature is unforgiving - to eat or to be eaten

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Antonio Gil 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much! It has been hard to wake up for sunrise and early morning photos this time of year when the sun rises so early, but it's worth losing that little bit of sleep for the nice light. smile

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Berckmans Peter 2 months, 3 weeks ago

These are wonderfull. Great bokeh an the colors are so alive. Job well done.

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Berckmans Peter 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much! I was really thankful for that nice mesh background and morning light giving me more creative options. A lucky day. smile

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Lee Santiva 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wonderful!! I was always wondering where I could go to capture butterflies. Would you want to trade my office building for your  Chattahoochee Nature Center? Didn't think so ...smile beautiful bokeh as well as very sharp captures which is hard since they move so quickly - great job

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Lee Santiva 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much, Lee! We'll just have to work some kind of exchange into our "take a photographer to work" program! smile July and August definitely seem to be peak months for butterflies in this climate. They are everywhere!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Greg Blaney 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Wonderful set, Bethany. I particularly like numbers 5 & 10 - beautiful! Butterflies can be both surprisingly easy to photograph and incredibly difficult, being the unpredictable little guys that they are. Catching one in flight is nigh on impossible. Nice job on these photos smile

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Greg Blaney 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you, Greg! I agree with you about how it can be easy or difficult to capture them. I've never even tried in-flight, but sometimes they can even be hard to catch when they sit still but keep moving their wings slightly. I've only seen the zebra longwing from #10 in photos before now, so that was a really exciting one!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Camellia Staab 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Excellent! Excellent photos! I am jealous I would love to be able to go some place where there are an abundance of butterflies. I love watching them flutter around and of course take photos of them. You also got a double bonus, watching the mockingbird and the moth battle, albeit a sad outcome. Well done!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Camellia Staab 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you so much! I love watching them too, they are just beautiful. I don't know what it is about Atlanta, but there are butterfly exhibits popping up everywhere here (and lots of butterflies outside all the time). I just found out about a new butterfly farm that opened this summer about an hour from my house, and about 2 hours south of Atlanta there is a place called Callaway Gardens that has a massive butterfly exhibit.Hoping to make a trip down there sometime soon! smile

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Björn Roose 2 months, 3 weeks ago

It's a bird eat moth world, excuse me, dog eat dog world, isn't it ? But you do have a lot of living beauty in your photos too smile

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
Bethany Plonski Replied to Björn Roose 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Indeed it is! laughing It's easy to forget that birds are a bug's worst nightmare. And thank you!

2 months, 3 weeks ago Edited
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