Sunday, August 24, 2008

Backyard Butterfly

I know not all of you are experiencing ideal weather right now, but here in Minnesota, we're having the most beautiful weekend of the summer. It's the memories of days like this that sustain us through January and February but unfortunately there are too few of them each year. It's tough to cram everything you want to do outside into your waking hours and I truly resent the fact that I'll have to go back to work tomorrow because I don't have anymore paid time off left and can't afford to just play hooky. (sigh) OK, well this pity party's over and I'll get on with my story.

I took Sophie out for walk in the backyard this morning to see if there was anything blogworthy going on and I spotted this pretty tiger swallowtail flitting around in the wildflower garden. I decided to wade into the sea of purple coneflowers in an attempt to get some photos. First I tried it on "zoom." Close, but not good enough yet.......

Maybe I can sneak up on it.......and then again, maybe not!

Ah, that's better!

Isn't he handsome?

And my patience finally paid off when he landed on a coneflower not 3 feet away from me and actually sat there long enough for me to film this little video. I was so delighted to see that you could actually watch the butterfly probing for nectar with his long proboscis.

This isn't a swallowtail, but because Sophie isn't scared by the camera when she's outside, I was able to take her picture while she got a drink at this "multipurpose" birdbath.

P.S. And on the excellent advice from Larry at the Brownstone Birding Blog, I now know how to post my photos in Blogger so if you click on the picture, you can see a REALLY BIG version of it in a new window. Thanks Larry!


Jayne said...

Who knew? Yay Larry! Oh, my... you are so clicky now Ruthie! BEAUTIFUL flutterby and a sweet, sweet Sophie too. :c)

jan m said...

Sophie must think it nice of you to put the water so she doesn't even have to bend down to drink it. Beautiful butterfly photos!

Lynne said...

Nice video Ruthie! I clicked on all of your photos and noticed that it looks maybe like someone took a bite off of the swallowtail's left wing!
I like Sophie's water dish!
I wonder why she's not afraid of the camera outside?

Trixie said...

Sophie! So smart. Lovely butterflies, I just love August.

Red said...

rofl @ Sophie! smart pup. I'm glad you had great weather and the patience to capture those flutterbies! thanks for sharing :)

Ruth said...

Great butterfly pictures. They are so busy and hard to capture.

Mary C said...

Ruthie, your first photos remind me of my feeble attempts at photographing butterflies (and some flitty birds, too!). It's nice to see a picture of Sophie, too. It looks like she enjoys walking with you.

KGMom said...

Love seeing Sophie--and her "I can drink here, can't I" water dish.

Anonymous said...

Love the butterfly pics, it seems there are more of them this year, maybe cuz there aren't as many Monarchs.

Maybe you'll have to get a hanging water dish in the house for Sophie, she seems to like that, it is just the right height for her.


Kathy said...

What a great video! I admire your patience and your butterfly-whisperer talents.

Martha said...

I love butterfly photos and I really enjoyed the butterfly video. What is the advice on how to post pictures so they can be biggie-sized? Mine do it sometimes and not others and I have not figured out why.

Marsha said...

What a beautiful swallowtail and you have "captured" him beautifully! I have noticed a huge shortage of butterflies this year and have yet to spot any swallowtails.

Mary said...

I knew Larry would be your source of info!

Your swallowtail is lovely, Ruthie, but Sophie steals the show. Tell her that. Maybe she'll lighten up a little.

Meggie said...

Great photos, Ruthie! I LOVED the video...very nice!

RuthieJ said...

Hi Jayne,
I'm glad Larry knew the answer to my question plus it was so simple!
Sophie is a good companion for a walk in the backyard.

Hi Jan,
It was a pretty warm morning and we were coming to the end of our walk. I think Sophie was surprised to find that birdbath there & I was glad I had just refilled it the day before.

Hi Lynne,
I noticed the butterfly's wing was broken off on one side too.
I don't know why Sophie doesn't mind the camera outside--maybe there's enough distance between her and me? (she's a goofy dog!)

Thanks Trixie, I bet August in Alaska is beautiful too.

Hi Red,
Sophie makes us laugh all the time too. She's almost 11, but still acts like a goofy pup a lot of the time.

Thanks Ruth. I followed that butterfly around for at least 10 minutes till I finally got the video. It's such fun to watch them.

Hi Mary C,
I sure love my digital camera. It's fun to try taking lots of different pictures and just delete the ones that don't turn out. But it's a good excuse to get outside and keep trying, right?

Thanks Donna. I think this is why my birdbaths always need refilling....not just the birds are using them!

Hi Mom,
I should get some of those taller water dishes for Sophie in the house--maybe she wouldn't make such a mess on the floor then.

Thanks Kathy--it's not so much patience as an excuse to stay outside and ignore my housecleaning chores waiting inside!

Hi Martha,
The tip is to post all the photos in your blog first and then add the text. I was typing the story then adding the pictures and moving them around. The only thing this forces me to change is that I have to be sure and add the photos in the order I want them to appear, so a little pre-planning is required, but other than that, it's working just great!

Oh Marsha, I'm sorry to hear you're not seeing many butterflies either--especially with all your beautiful gardens. I don't know if I'm just more aware of them or what the deal is, but I've been seeing quite a few giant swallowtails too.

Hi Mary,
I'm always envious that you can get so many cute pictures of Bella and Chloe.....Sophie's never that cooperative!

Thanks Meggie, I'm glad you enjoyed it.