Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Photographic Miscues of Copper Butterflies

It is a great feeling to go wildlife watching, find the species you are looking for, and then capture a superb photo documenting your sighting experience. After investing in two Canon 'L' lenses of late, 100 mm macro and the 70-300 mm, the results of most of my photographic efforts are pretty great (my take)...it's all in the equipment :-) Recently while butterfly watching at Skalkaho Pass (elevation ~7200 feet east of Hamilton, MT), was so intent on photographing a Fritillary (to id, really good photos are necessary), missed getting on quickly one of the most beautiful and distinct lepids that landed just beyond the fritillary...Lustrous Copper (Lycaena cupreus). Here's what I would up with the camera:
Lustrous Copper
The butterfly flew after a brief period; I looked for quite a while never relocating it. A second great  Copper miscue at a different location, I locate a Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus) nectaring, which they don't do regularly. I'm clicking away point blank with my Canon T1i; later discover that I had neglected to insert the SD card...NO photos were captured! Being prepared and camera ready is part of success; that serendipity thing plays important role in wildlife watching. Walking the Peterson Lake Trail (Bitterroot National Forest near Florence, MT) came upon several small meadows immediate the trail; several wildflower species were still in bloom among them Sulfur Buckwheat (Eriogonum umbellatum). 'Euphilotes' Blue butterflies usually key in on this species as a larval foodplant. Yep, no Square spotted Blue butterflies using the buckwheat, just many other Blue butterfly species along with one Blue Copper (Lycaena heteronea)...a lifer! Ready with the camera this time, got many good photos of this particular Copper:
Blue Copper
Much success in finding and photographing something great.