Five days ago I wrote 'one second on the wrong place and your life can be totally different'; fortunately that story will probably have a happy end. Unfortunately this does not count for the portraited butterflies below. Last Monday my garden was full of butterflies when I came back from work and I was very happy to see a lot of freshly emerged Peacock Butterflies (as I did not see this species this year before). Yesterday the majority was gone and very soon I found out who was responsible for this decrease:
It's SPIDER TIME!!!
Last weekend I went out to search for some caterpillars of the Painted Lady but instead I found a lot of caterpillars of the Red Admiral and the Small Tortoiseshell. The caterpillar of the Red Admiral lives solitary and well hidden between the Stinging Nettles in a kind of nest. Finding some of them gave me the opportunity to photograph their hiding behaviour.
All the chrysalises of the Peacock emerged this week.....unfortunatly they did this on my working days or at night! Two chrysalises were hanging close together and when the colours of the butterfly was visible I was happy that it was my day off and that the weather was perfect. I started 'waiting' after sunrise and stopped at sunset without an emergence of one of them. The next morning they were hanging on the empty chrysalis. I consider to search for a new hobby!
As almost all the chrysalises of the Peacock emerged now I set my hopes on the chrysalises of the Painted Lady, Comma Butterfly or Red Admiral.....otherwise I will really change my hobby.
Fortunately the Map Butterflies stayed in the garden and a few days ago I noticed one comming out of the Stinging Nettles....the circle of life continues!
Unfortunately the weather was too bad to photograph the process in their natural habitat outside, so inside, in front of a window with the garden in the background, I photographed some metamorphosises. One of the processes I catched from the front and on this sequence you can see how their little feet are moving up (actually it's the complete caterpillar skin) and disappear....instead a chrysalis appears. What an impressive spectacle!
Where there is desire, there is gonna be a flame……where there is a flame, there is passion and my passion is to photograph butterfly metamorphosises. In my Butterfly Gallery under the chapter metamorphosises a few photo sequences can be found. Recently I explained a friend that a lot of attempts to photograph a transforming caterpillar or butterfly failed.
In 2008 a friend discovered a black caterpillar in the grass and called my name......I found 18 large black caterpillars of the Peacock Butterfly (Aglais io) and offered them two large insect boxes with branches and plants. Unfortunately, the majority did choose the plastic cover of the boxes to hang on. From the few caterpillars which hang on a natural place, only a few were not infected with parasitoids (the some who were infected did not change into a chrysalis).
So only a few caterpillars were hanging in the right position but unfortunately the transformation process from caterpillar into chrysalis took place at night. The last caterpillar started moving at day but also this little ‘bastard’ transformed when it was (too) dark......despite of all the lamps which I collected, the artificial light gives an unnatural result and that is the reason why this sequence landed in the 'recycle bin' for years.
But, like almost everything in life.......you gotta get up and try try try (P!nk)
Actually I was on my way to the Wood Anemones when I saw a Peacock which was flying around slowly at a pile of branches. I was not really interested in this Peacock as I have tried to photograph some butterflies earlier this week without any success. So I was just looking at this Peacock....but this ‘bastard’ stayed on one of the branches for a long time so I could not resist and started opening my photo backpack. Approaching the Peacock between the congestion of branches with the tripod was a patiently operation and of course he flew away by the time I wanted to make the first photo (that’s my fate as butterfly photographer).
My second attempt was successful. Not a dream photo but I’m glad that I photographed my first butterfly of 2012. After I had taken some photo’s I wanted an other composition but the Peacock did not.....he flew into the pile of branches, hiding from me. I took a few photo’s of him between the branches and packed my stuff.
By the time I was ready to leave I saw the Peacock again on a branch with open wings.....'bastard', I continued my way to the Wood Anemones!
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180 mm, 1/60s at F8.0 and ISO100
Canon 7D; tripod; remote release; 180 mm, 1/25s at F9.0 and ISO100
Jibt dir dit Leben mal een Buff, denn weene keene Träne. Lach Dir'n Ast und setz Dir druff und baumle mit de Beene.