Sprouting Wings

In my last post I wrote about caterpillars and butterflies, and I used
their changing from the former to the latter, as a metaphor for being
a Christian.  I did not illustrate that article with any pictures of
those two subjects, because I did not want to detract from the
writing.  Today I thought I would share a few photos.

I also failed to mention, that some caterpillars will become moths as
well rather than  butterflies.

Only the third caterpillar below is destined to become a butterfly.
The others are moth caterpillars.
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It is great to realize, that these little critters will be transformed
and will  “sprout wings“.

Below we have three butterflies, followed be the exotic Luna Moth.
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There are times when those slow moving caterpillars can actually be
more difficult to photography than butterflies and moths, despite the
fact that butterflies/moths have the gift of flight.

Caterpillars are frequently munching on leaves or hiding. In both
cases you will often never see them as they are on the back of leaves.
I have spent hours in nature gently turning over the leaves of plants
in search of caterpillars.

Once you have one where you want it, it is usually easy to get a basic
exposure. They often live in a medium tone, or 18% neutral gray,
world. Then the important part is to capture their likeness in either
all shade, or all sun, or on an overcast day if possible.

Often auto exposure methods will work without compensation if they are
in shade or overcast.

Butterflies of course are on the move much of the time. It can become
fairly easy to predict their path as they flutter from one flower to
another, sipping the life sustaining nourishment called nectar and
collecting pollen on their feet. Following them with a hand held
camera and flash, can work and I have used it many times. I prefer
however, to have my camera affixed to my lightest weight tripod, and
pick up and move when necessary. For caterpillars, I always used a
tripod that went down to ground level.

I switched things up from normal today and featured my guest images at
the finish of the post. A way to leave viewers with the jackpot,
rather than beginning with it.

Facebook friend Karen Kader made this wonderful shot of a Garter
Snake. She managed to catch this one with its tongue out sniffing the
world around it for danger.

I would imagine, that from time to time, caterpillars became lunch for
this cool snake.

14GarterSnakeKarenKader

Great job Karen!

I loved making images of reptiles and amphibians, but I only
photographed four wild snakes in my years in photography.

One Garter Snake such as you see above, but alas my (film) shots were
not very good. I also photographed a Prairie Rattlesnake. I was on my
way out of a national wildlife refuge in either northern Nebraska of
southern South Dakota on a very chilly early May morning and spotted
one warming itself on the dirt road I was driving on. It was lethargic
because of its “cold blood“, and I had a nice opportunity, although my
images (film again) were barley acceptable.

One Fox Snake (a little better images) and some respectable up close
and personal images with a very feisty  Northern Water Snake which
were at least acceptable or of publishable quality.

The macro shot of a member of the dandelion family “gone to seed”,
that you see below is flawless, and was made by another Facebook
friend, Adam Jones.

To me, there is nothing more visually artful than this sort of image.
The photo  contains very few objects within the picture frame but they
are composed in an artistic and provocative manner. Simple and
elegant, or “less is more” you might say.

15dendelionseedAd15amJones

Well-done Adam!

Have a great day and cya again soon,
Wayne

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