Sunday, July 13, 2008

Butterfly Flutterby

Look at the big beauty who came to visit me today! And therein lies a tale of the wonders of Google.

Earlier this afternoon I wandered into the kitchen for another cup of you-know-what. I happened to glance out the big window by the dining table. It looks down on the top of the maple tree about 20 feet out from the building. Just as I looked, a very large butterfly flittered down and perched atop the maple, right next to where the neighboring birch draped down to mingle. And the camera just happened to be right there on the table, handy. For a change.

Needless to say, camera was in hand and zoom lens was on its way out even as I raced to the open window. I was shooting through the screen, lens right up against the mesh, so I figured there would be an annoying grid pattern when I uploaded the pictures. Too bad. I didn't really have any choice. Interestingly enough, no grid pattern appeared. Rather, the screen seemed to act like a softening filter. Something to think about in future, I reckon.

Once the photos were uploaded to the computer, the obvious next step was to go online and try to identify my guy. Google came through. You would not believe how many web sites provide excellent photos for butterfly and moth identification. In no time at all I had me some good news and I had me some bad news.

The good news is, there are a squintillion different identity photos out there. The bad news is -- there are a squintillion different identity photos out there.

I must have waded through a good gazillion of those purty pictures before, cross-eyed and near to weeping in frustration, I finally stumbled across the correct one. Behold, Coffee Mates! Let me introduce you to Adelpha Bredowii, otherwise known as California Sister.

California Sister? Is it just me or is that a rather strange name for a bug? Like Twisted Sister. Nah. I'm sure this butterfly is not into heavy metal. It's more a Beach Boys kind of dude, don't you think? Sun, sand and surf. Vegetarian cafes and juice bars. Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm.

All things considered, I thought it was right nice of him to stop by. Hope he comes again.


The Old Guy said...

Fluttery will get you everything. You have the makings of a fine reference librarian, Dee, should you decide to augment your career as a master chef and naturalist.

And thanks for the screen test. We have a momma deer and her three fawns who visit, but when we try to shoot them, the screen grid gets in the way, and by the time we've gone out to the deck to try an unfiltered shot, they've moved just a little beyond camera range.

Ava South said...

Naturally I had to research your pretty visitor and found that the name is given because of "the striking black and white pattern that resembles a nun's habit" Hmmm. For the life of me, I couldn't see that particular resemblance, but it is a beautful butterfly.

I don't have a good zoom lens to get pics like this and my attempts at shots through my screens are not very good. I will try your "up against the screen" method.


Maggie said...

Lovely......California Sister....she must have golden hair. I've never seen one, but I sure do appreciate you showing her to us. For being here too.

Tell all. I miss those entries.