I do a lot of nature photography throughout the year, and here are my ten favorites:
I like this one so much I had a large print of it made, and it is hanging on my wall. This is a Henry’s elfin. You can see that it is leaning a bit–it was a cool, sunny day in early April, and this butterfly is doing a behavior called “lateral basking.” It has positioned itself perpendicular to the sun’s rays in order to heat up a little more rapidly.
This photo also involved a lot of angst. I was only a few weeks away from my retirement, and I was worried about that. It was also about two months past a back surgery. I was still a little unsteady when I walked and I was worried that I might not be able to do the physical activity needed to take photos of butterflies. Turns out I can. Chasing butterflies with a camera actually helps me physically and mentally.
This is a female zabulon skipper, photographed on the limited access road by Medora Prairie.
This is a northern pearly-eye, photographed along a cut bank on the same road as the previous photo.
This two-spotted skipper was drinking nectar from common milkweed at Rolling Thunder Prairie. This butterfly was new for me this year.
I got this photo of a banded hairstreak at the Marietta Sand Prairie in Marshall County, Iowa. I like to try to get a little bit of sky in my photos of butterflies if possible.
I have planted some prairie plants in my back yard, and am trying to get a little pollinator garden going there. This wool carder bee was scraping some of the fuzz off of the plants, and she will use it to make her nest.
This pearl crescent was also photographed in my back yard.
This long-horned bee was also photographed in my back yard pollinator garden.
I drove to Texas in late October to attend the Texas Butterfly Festival. I loved it and took lots of photos. This is a Texan crescent.
I have also been volunteering at the butterfly wing of Rieman Gardens in Ames, Iowa. These numata longwings were photographed there.
I am a photographer because I enjoy the process. Each of these photos represents a little bit of happiness from this year. I am not sure these photos will give you joy as well, but I hope they do.