My macro lens is one of my favorites because with its use I have permission to stare at others. I can spend time intimately observing the tiny, abundant insect communities that most often are ignored. Sometimes I am surprised when my camera captures details and subjects that were unnoticed by me. This image is a prime example of such recorded evidence. I was focused on the Comma butterfly. I saw the one fly above the butterfly. I did not see the one below. And I absolutely did not realize the “spots” on the adjacent leaf were alive!
So much goes on around us all the time that is oblivious to us. Such findings make me keenly aware that my ability to see the world and make sense of it continually needs practice. This is true with people as well as nature.
Comma butterfly with others of the community. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Mexican Sunflower is joined by the similarly colored Long wing butterfly. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
Brilliant blooming colors in abundance successfully camouflaged a multitude of tropical butterflies. Butterfly World in Florida’s Coconut Creek is all that the name implies plus more. It could just as aptly be named Butterfly, Bird and Bloom World. The Piano Key or a related “long wing” (Heliconius Melpomene or Heliconius Erato) butterfly here has lighted on a Mexican Sunflower (Tithonia diversifolia). These two butterfly species often crossbreed, so I am unsure of this one’s specific identity.
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Butterfly World in action. Copyright 2017 Pamela Breitberg
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a part of the prairie terrain in Chicago’s Lincoln Park outside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The blooms with prolific, pollen-laden anthers caught my attention. If a plant could scream, “Here I am, come visit me” this is what it was silently yelling to passing insects.
Popular with more than insects, during the American Revolution, the leaves became the alternative tea source replacing British varieties. New Jersey Tea has been a long time medicinal choice of Native Indians and a current favorite of herbalists. What will remain unmentioned is that is part of the Buckthorn family whose members include the Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), an aggressive European invader.
New Jersey Tea prolific native survivalist, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
New Jersey Tea in full bloom, copyright 2014 Pamela Breitberg
The second image is a closely cropped copy of the first image.
This unusually warm, 50 degree, afternoon yesterday invited clusters of winged insect hatchings. I was not sure if the camera would even come close to focus on these tiny creatures, but the late day, low angled sun spotlighted their flight.
These are times when I am tempted to spend many minutes and countless megabytes of space working to create the “perfect” image. Time did not allow it yesterday; but my creative juices are now stirred.
Newly hatched winged insects copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Woodland afternoon copyright 2013 Pamela Breitberg
Well, I’ve begun. Let’s see if it takes me a few years to get going on this blog like it did my Wiki page for my students! This will be a place for me to share my thoughts and experiences in nature. I hope to use it as a journal as I enjoy nature and work to share my love and learning with the world.