Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Dianas in July

Last year we made a point to let the wild violets in our yard grow as they would after we found out that the Diana Butterfly lived exclusively on them and nothing else as a caterpillar. I have no idea if that helped or if we just have a good year for Dianas but we have them in abundance. We had three males at one time on the butterfly bushes.

It is not time for the girls to emerge, so for now, it's boys only. I shot this one with a flash with a 200mm lense (handheld unfortunately) and the color got washed out a bit. It was early and the light was too low for me to shoot fast enough to compensate for my shakey hands. I wonder if any of those compound eyes are looking at me?

This young man preferred the oregano blooms. The color is still not quite right in the early light. They show much oranger in full sunlight. You can see the scars of daily life beginning to show up as scratches on their wing scales. They get pretty beaten up by the time the girls show up.

Frankly, I've never seen males and females at the same time but it has to happen...Theoretically, anyway.

Dianas are fairly rare and until recently were thought to have receded in range to the four Tennessee Counties in the Smokies adjacent to the North Carolina border. They were not listed as occuring in Roane County but here they are.
There is a distinct population in Arkansas and Oklahoma, and last year, the Diana was designated as the State Butterfly of Arkansas.
I guess I have to buy a decent tripod now.

No comments:

Post a Comment