The Butterflies are Taking Off!

July 17, 2015  •  3 Comments

To all my readers, I apologize for being MIA and not posting during a time when so much is blooming and happening at the Chicago Botanic Garden.  Between the incredibly successful and fun Out of Chicago Conference in June (another blog post that should have happened), having family home and a wonderful trip to Santa Fe with my daughters, I've had no time to process photos and post. This week I'm playing catch up! 

I've continued my weekly visits to Butterflies and Blooms to help the Garden document butterflies but with the crazy weather we've had this summer - unusually cold and very rainy - the butterflies have been slow to progress at the Garden's exhibit.  I'm happy to report that this week the numbers and varieties of butterflies are really beginning to grow.  I was able to capture a lot of great shots this week and Patrick, the exhibit's manager, is releasing large numbers every day.  I never tire of learning new things about butterflies and photographing in the exhibit.  One thing I am learning in my third year of photographing butterflies for the Garden is just how tricky it is to identify some species of butterflies.  Just when I think you have it down, I get all confused again.  There is so much variation within species and between the males and females of each species, not to mention that each species has a variety of acceptable names.  I invite you to visit my large collection of butterfly photographs in the butterfly gallery of this website. It is always my hope that it helps others to identify butterflies they have seen or photographed.  Many of my photographs are documentary in style so that the Garden can use them for butterfly identification guides and promotion of the exhibit, but I do try to seek out shots that are more artistic and have had fun experimenting with different angles and ways to photograph the butterflies.

A stunning Orchard Swallowtail

Orchard SwallowtailOrchard Swallowtail A form of heliconius (most likely a Postman) on lantana. Patrick and I are still trying to identify this one - an example of how species can vary.

    The always beautiful and delicate Paper Kite on skyflower

Paper Kite on SkyflowerPaper Kite on Skyflower   Hello there, little Common Sergeant, resting in the cup of a leaf! I love this up-close perspective of butterflies!

Common SergeantCommon Sergeant One of my personal favorites just appeared in the exhibit, the White Peacock.

White PeacockWhite Peacock Blue Clipper peaking out from behind a leaf, upside down

Blue ClipperBlue Clipper And don't forget to check out what is emerging in the Pupa Emergence Room.  Always some good photo ops there.

A Lacewing emerging and ready to be released.

LacewingLacewing An Orange Emigrant ready to fly.

Orange EmigrantOrange Emigrant Stay tuned for posts on dahlias and water lilies at the Garden.  They are gorgeous right now!



Lara Joy Brynildssen(non-registered)
I can't wait to go to the exhibit on Monday now with my Toronto friends! Thanks for the butterfly primer.
Thank you so much, Lauri! Butterflies are a passion of mine; really enjoy photographing these beautiful creatures!
Lauri Novak(non-registered)
Gorgeous set of images!!
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