This time of the year finding birds gets a bit harder as the summer heat and doldrums set in so while I am looking for birds to photograph I also look for other creatures to take images of including the many butterflies, dragonflies and other insects I find to aim my lens towards. Everything in nature is connected and I feel that I should take the time to photograph whatever I see while I am looking for feathered subjects.
Female Great Spangled Fritillary nectaring on Musk Thistle – Nikon D500, f7.1, 1/1000, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
Last week while I was up in a canyon in the Wasatch Mountains I spotted a female Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly nectaring on a Musk Thistle so I felt I had to take photos of she sipped the nectar of the flower. I’ve been taking a lot of photos lately with birds and butterflies on Musk Thistles, even though these thistles are introduced and invasive plenty of birds, butterflies and other insects have learned that these thistles are beneficial in sustaining their lives. Bees use the pollen, butterflies sip their nectar and some of the birds not only eat the seeds but use the thistle down to line their nests.
I saw lots of fritillary butterflies up in the canyon but this female was the only one that I photographed, she was close and cooperative.
Great Spangled Fritillary female on a Musk Thistle – Nikon D500, f9, 1/800, ISO 500, Nikkor 500mm VR with 1.4x TC, natural light
She was actually so close that at f9 I still didn’t have enough depth of field to get all of her wings completely in focus. After this photo was taken I attempted to take a short video clip of her and by the time I stopped recording and was switching back to taking still photos she flew off. Maybe I will have another opportunity with this butterfly species before summer’s end, I hope so!
Life is good.