Roses and Butterflies in the Backyard


It’s been a while since I’ve written about the roses and butterflies in the backyard.  While I love to go cool places to photograph birds, sometimes the best opportunities come in your own backyard.

As frequent readers of my blog know, I have a bit of a green thumb, and I’ve landscaped our garden with hummingbirds and butterflies in mind.  I used to have lots of rosebushes, as described on my Backyard Roses page, but I became increasingly bothered by the number of pesticides and fungicides that I had to use to keep the bushes healthy.  Those things just aren’t good for the birds and insects that are part of a healthy backyard ecosystem. So I ended up downsizing the rose garden to just a few bushes, including one of my favorites, ‘Gold Medal.’

Backyard Roses page
‘Gold Medal’ rose

I’m frequently asked if the dew and raindrops on my flower photos are natural or staged.  They are absolutely natural!  That’s the great part of having flowers in your yard – you can photograph them in the early hours of the morning before the dew dries.  (The truth be told, all my staged dewdrops bead too perfectly and look fake!)

I was out fertilizing my rosebushes when I noticed this small butterfly hanging out on the leaves.  I recognized it as a hairstreak (don’t ask me which kind of hairstreak!)  Our backyard has been full of butterflies this summer, but mostly bigger butterflies like monarchs and swallowtails.  The hairstreaks are smaller and I love the intricacies of the bottoms of their wings.  So I was pretty happy when this guy posed for minutes at a time, drinking the dew from the leaves.

Hairstreak Butterfly
Hairstreak Butterfly

The summer is starting to wind down, and I’ve smelled a hint of fall in the air.  The light is certainly changing as the days begin to shorten.  Fall migration is underway…happy times for bird photographers!! :)