Montana Outdoors

May 20, 2008

A butterfly day

Filed under: Butterflies, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 10:18 pm

It started this morning when I did my best to catch up with a pretty little butterfly with orange tips on its white wings who was visiting one of my wife’s flower gardens. No luck there, but this small green-eyed one (Cabbage white) made a visit and that was some consolation.

Green-eyed butterfly

Green-eyed butterfly

After getting some yard work completed I rewarded myself this afternoon with a short hike up a Forest Service road not far from here to photograph some wildflowers and encountered this unusual little fellow. I have no idea at all what species it is and I have never seen one like it before.

Unknown butterfly

Five flower photos later and the day came around full cycle with the arrival of one of the little white and orange guys (Stella orangetip) who, this time, was more interested in examining a flower than he was in foiling my attempts to photograph him.


As usual I am amazed at the beauty and diversity of nature and even more amazed at the members of my own species who, without any knowledge at all of what these little creatures are and what part they play in maintaining the natural balance of this planet, are willing to risk disturbing that balance and destroy the habitat that supports them.


  1. Very pretty! I haven’t turned my attention to attempting to learn lepidoptera… I’ll have to put them on my list.


    Comment by Jennifer — May 21, 2008 @ 3:56 am

  2. I haven’t either. I usually go to one photo site ( and if I can’t find something there I give up. I sure do love to see them though!


    Comment by montucky — May 21, 2008 @ 7:06 am

  3. What diversity! And I love the butterflies – I don’t do well with butterfly names, or even taking their pictures. If it doesn’t hold still, I don’t seem to have the patience. Now a rock or a fungus – hey, then I’m good! 🙂


    Comment by Bo — May 21, 2008 @ 7:30 am

  4. Yes, butterflies are tough. I just take the attitude that a photograph might happen, but don’t ever count on it! It seems as though I’ve seen a million and then the next one that comes along is different.


    Comment by montucky — May 21, 2008 @ 8:19 am

  5. Butterflies are amazing insects. I’m actually a bit surprised you get so many so far north.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — May 21, 2008 @ 9:10 am

  6. So how about a photo book of butterflies? You could even put some comic relief in.

    Or how about photos of butterflies on wildflowers? Come on, work with me!


    Comment by wolf — May 21, 2008 @ 9:50 am

  7. This is a really nice post with gorgeous shots to boot and a great eco-message. I think our cities give us an idea of what the loss of these little insects would do on our ecosystem. (Since they fly pesticides to kill bugs over larger cities to combat malaria.) It’s a fine way of doing things; so long as you don’t want to see; eagles, hawks, large bird species, etc… because the medium sized birds eat the bugs and the larger birds eat the medium sized birds. It’s amazing how different the sky changes in the country and pretty much it’s all due to these little guys & no pesticide to kill off the dreaded mosquito. (p.s. they also make for a gorgeous hike as well.) Beautiful work Terry!

    p.s. I got in order (standing to be corrected):
    cabbage white (male; only one dot)
    No clue; but he’s wicked cool.
    stella orangetip


    Comment by aullori — May 21, 2008 @ 12:34 pm

  8. Beautiful:) You capture so much in your work! It makes me homesick. I’m from MT, but we moved to CO about a year ago. I’ll have to check your site often:)


    Comment by Kisti — May 21, 2008 @ 1:54 pm

  9. Scienceguy,

    We do have a lot of varieties. I was surprised a month ago to see lots of them in an area where the snow was still five feet deep in many places. They seemed comfortable right next to it!


    Comment by montucky — May 21, 2008 @ 3:45 pm

  10. Wolf,

    If we could get enough like that one you did, we might have a winner!


    Comment by montucky — May 21, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

  11. Lori,

    The loss of these guys would certainly be a loss of beauty, and who knows what else. Not knowing, it seems foolish to not respect them, doesn’t it? Thanks for the ID on those two!


    Comment by montucky — May 21, 2008 @ 3:52 pm

  12. Thanks Kisti! I know how hard it is to move from Montana, but there’s a lot of beauty in Colorado too! Thanks for the visit!


    Comment by montucky — May 21, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

  13. Yep, I like Wolf’s photo book idea. You might have to hire some guy toi figure out what those unidentifiable ones are.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 21, 2008 @ 6:40 pm

  14. It would be fun to do, but to get presentable photos of enough butterflies would take another 40 years, the way it’s been going. I think I would enjoy doing one on wildflowers in partnership with someone else though.


    Comment by montucky — May 21, 2008 @ 6:50 pm

  15. Great bfly photos!

    For ID, Flickr’s “ID Please” group has been very helpful for me.


    Comment by Adam R. Paul — May 22, 2008 @ 9:16 am

  16. I’ll have to try that, Adam. I have a lot that need an ID! Thanks!


    Comment by montucky — May 22, 2008 @ 5:57 pm

  17. what variety! I see lots of the monarchs around here


    Comment by silken — May 23, 2008 @ 7:31 am

  18. The monarchs are beautiful. I’ve seen them in other places, but not here although we have some that look a little bit like them.


    Comment by montucky — May 23, 2008 @ 8:02 am

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