Backyard photography

Roses and Butterflies in the Backyard

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Hairstreak Butterfly

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.’ 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 […]

Backyard photography

Monarch Butterfly

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It seemed as if there were very few butterflies early on in the summer months. Now they are all over. This one was enjoying my milkweed plant, a host plant for the monarchs. The caterpillars will devour all the leaves on this plant as they grow.

Backyard photography

More Butterflies

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It was cloudy this evening, but this monarch butterfly didn’t care. He was nectaring on my milkweed, then he (she?) also seemed to be laying eggs. I actually haven’t seen many caterpillars in the yard this summer. It’s been a slow summer for butterflies. Maybe I’ll start to see more caterpillars soon.

Backyard photography

Nice Afternoon in my Own Backyard

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After spending so much time photographing around Florida this summer, it was nice to spend a day in my own yard. Sadly I was removing some of my rosebushes…I’m tired of using so many pesticides to keep the roses healthy. I’m replacing them with plants that attract hummingbirds. My mom’s had success in attracting hummers to their yard, and I’d like to do the same. It was pretty hot today, but once I got busy, the heat didn’t really bother me. I took my camera out with me and photographed several butterflies who visited the yard. It’s nice to see them again — they haven’t been around much this summer!

Backyard photography

Butterfly Magnet

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My Mexican Sunflower bush is turning into a butterfly magnet.  Every time I look out into the backyard there is a butterfly nectaring on its flowers.  Monarchs, swallowtails, sulphurs, fritillaries….it’s fun to have an active yard! :) These pictures were taken after a nice summer shower (yes! rain! we finally got some!)  The butterfly must have been especially hungry after it rained almost all day.  She spent at least half an hour nectaring.

Backyard photography

Red admiral butterfly

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It’s fun to see butterflies returning to the backyard, even as the birds are starting to find their food elsewhere. My feeders are staying fuller these days, and we only have resident house finches, mockingbirds, cardinals, and doves. Even the grackles and red-winged blackbirds are becoming fewer and fewer. So it was nice to welcome this Red Admiral butterfly to my black-eyed Susan bush this evening.