Montana Outdoors

May 25, 2008

It’s not always bad to have “the blues”.

Filed under: Butterflies, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Photography, Photos, Pictures — Tags: — montucky @ 7:59 pm

There were a couple of rainy hours available just before dinner today and I decided to spend them searching for a favorite wildflower, the Tolmie Star Tulip. It is still a little early in the season for them, but at the lower end of Munson Creek I was able to find three in bloom (photos in the next post). Just as I returned to the trailhead the rain stopped, a few rays of sun appeared and with them a visit from this little guy who has his own version of “the blues”.

Boisduval’s Blue  (Plebejus icarioides)

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

Spring Azure (Celastrina ladon)

Butterflies and Moths of North America


  1. What a rich color of blue.


    Comment by scienceguy288 — May 26, 2008 @ 12:07 pm

  2. Beautiful. Nice contrast with the background in terms of delicacy and grace.



    Comment by knightofswords — May 26, 2008 @ 1:39 pm

  3. Beautiful shots – I had just told Monarch that I completely envy your ability to get so close to butterflies. I think I can never get them because I take most of my shots while walking the pups. They’d scare off just about anything. (Tough to be a birder with three dogs.) This guy is a beauty I just spied the same type just yesterday myself. These are much prettier shots tho.


    Comment by aullori — May 26, 2008 @ 2:13 pm

  4. wonderful shots,… and such amazing color. is that a Karner? Something else?



    Comment by Cedar — May 26, 2008 @ 2:29 pm

  5. Scienceguy,

    Yes, it is a rich color. It’s also interesting that the other sides of the wings are a rather simple gray color.


    Comment by montucky — May 26, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

  6. Malcolm,

    This little guy was very obliging: he not only posed nicely, but he chose a great set for the shoot!


    Comment by montucky — May 26, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  7. Lori,

    Butterflies are tough to catch! The secret is to be very lucky! Yes, I think they’d be impossible to get close to with the pups along.


    Comment by montucky — May 26, 2008 @ 3:57 pm

  8. Cedar,

    No, it’s not a Karner. I’m pretty sure it’s a Spring Azure. At least that’s as close as I could get. These are quite common around here, but very difficult to photograph. I stayed after this guy so long I think he got used to me and let me get close.


    Comment by montucky — May 26, 2008 @ 4:01 pm

  9. I can completely understand the confusion here… the photos online for Blue’s are tough and out of date. Then you combine that about half of the subspecies are considered extinct (which ups the pulse of any butterfly hunter.) From your shots (which are gorgeous) I’d venture a very uneducated guess on the silvery blue but I would not bet the mortgage. Simply because there are no really good butterfly images online and many of the blues can really only be ID’d by experts. (Which I certainly am not one) no matter what his name is – he’s a beauty! I’m not even so darn sure that all of the subspecies they’ve created really even have different dna or if the ones that do flutter about are just highly adaptable??? We’ll let the scientists sort that stuff out.


    Comment by aullori — May 27, 2008 @ 11:05 am

  10. And then the other variable is the distribution. I’m sure they are like wildflowers, where I find species here that aren’t even supposed to be in Montana at all.


    Comment by montucky — May 27, 2008 @ 7:20 pm

  11. The detail of the striping on his antennae is beautiful, and I swear I can almost count the hairs on his head!


    Comment by Tabbie — May 27, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  12. I’ve been fascinated by those stripes on the antennae too! It’s truly a beautiful creature!


    Comment by montucky — May 27, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

  13. I love this little guy! very pretty.


    Comment by silken — May 28, 2008 @ 10:13 am

  14. Gorgeous.


    Comment by Patia — May 28, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

  15. I really like it too, Silken! It was lucky that it sat still for a bit.


    Comment by montucky — May 28, 2008 @ 1:12 pm

  16. I think so too, Patia. That blue is an unusual shade and really catches the eye.


    Comment by montucky — May 28, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

  17. Wow! What a beautiful little butterfly! And he posed for you. So kind of him!


    Comment by Sara — May 28, 2008 @ 10:17 pm

  18. Yes, he wasn’t camera shy. Nearly all of the time these little blues will fold their wings together when they light on something and that beautiful blue disappears but this one kept his wings spread and changes locations for me. It was a real treat!


    Comment by montucky — May 28, 2008 @ 10:33 pm

  19. […] I caught sight of this blue butterfly. It reminded me of the amazing detail on Montucky’s blue butterfly shots and instead I decided to soften the image. I knew I could not offer such a pretty shot as Montucky […]


    Pingback by Dreams and Wildflowers « Random Musings — May 29, 2008 @ 2:12 am

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