Gulf Fritillary on lantana bloom, Photo by Walter Skupien
During a bridge walk in September, walking buddy Ann and I were amazed at the abundance of bright orange and black butterflies whizzing by from west to east across the bridge.
Their color at first made me think that the monarch migration had arrived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Nope. They were Gulf fritillaries, on their annual migration from southeastern states to South Florida.
When we took the steps down from the bridge’s pedestrian lane, fritillaries covered the white flowers next to the steps. The butterflies were taking a rest and nectar break, flitting from bloom to bloom. I am not sure if they were actually imbibing, but it looked as if they were.
Ann held my gait belt while I maneuvered on an uneven surface, trying to capture a useable image of the brightly colored insects. There were also Common Buckeye butterflies sharing the flowers.
Attempts to position my point-and-shoot Canon close to the moving targets, to steady the camera, to keep my balance, and to actually get a butterfly in the frame just didn’t work.
Although the effort was probably an excellent stroke recovery balancing exercise, the photographic exercise was pretty much a bust. But it was a fun bust.
Here is sample of my flutterby fragments:
Rather than discouragement, my photo efforts resulted in an acute attack of butterfly mania. I managed to suck Hubby into my new obsession. The result was a trip eight days later to Mobile Botanical Gardens for a Saturday morning butterfly program. I will post more about that pleasurable experience later.
Hubby Walter captured butterfly and other images that he posted here in his chronicle of our trip to the botanical gardens.
At the botanical gardens I did get a few butterfly shots, although the fritillaries were so fast and stayed so far away that I had more success with the Common Buckeye butterflies. The buckeyes shared the fritillaries’ attraction to lantana but perched in one place longer and didn’t startle as easily as the fritillaries.