Sam Crowe, 2022
On June 10, I took a trip up to Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge to see if there were any shorebirds still hanging around or maybe some already heading back south. I once saw a beautiful, breeding-plumaged American Golden Plover heading back south from their nesting range in the far north.
No luck with the birds but the button bushes were blooming and the butterflies were taking advantage of the opportunity. I saw maybe 10 different species on one bush.
Advanced warning, my plant and butterfly identification skills are not great, so read on at your own risk.
One of the most showy species was the Red-spotted Purple butterfly. I believe it is considered a mimic of the Pipe Vine Swallowtail, which is not a favorite of birds. They were quite common.
Pipevine Swallowtail from a couple of years ago. I do not remember which camera.
There was one additional swallowtail butterfly in the area, just not on the button bush. The beautiful Black Swallowtail.
Black Swallowtail. This guy was not on the button bush but was quite cooperative. The zoom lens on my camera comes in handy when photographing butterflies.
One of the most common butterflies was the Viceroy. It is a well-known mimic of the Monarch butterfly. Supposedly Monarchs have a bitter taste, although I have never tried one myself.
Viceroy above, compare with the Monarch below. Note the dark line on the lower wing of the Viceroy, not on the Monarch. One of the hairstreak butterflies is on the right of the Monarch. The Monarch photo was taken previously with a different camera.
There were also several Question mark butterflies along with Red Admirals and Buckeyes.
I have been trying to learn how to use my new Sony RX10 IV camera. I still have a lot of problems with the focus but occasionally grab a good shot. Unless noted, all of butterflies were with this camera.
It does a good job of photographing distant birds in flight. You may not be able to tell in the photograph, but a couple of the geese can be seen calling. Canada Geese are summering in Texas in larger and larger numbers. Not necessarily a good thing.
The camera also has a limited capability for slow motion video. This video was shot at 460 frames per second. A little wobbly but still fun.
Hope everyone has a great summer.