Montana Outdoors

July 23, 2013

…and the livin’ is easy…

Filed under: Butterflies, Summer — Tags: , — montucky @ 2:09 pm

Butterflies and thistle


  1. I hope you’re really close to these because they otherwise are the size of sparrows. 🙂



    Comment by knightofswords — July 23, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

    • They were very patient and let me get really close. The photo is about 5 times their actual size. This species seems to tolerate my presence more than most others do.


      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 3:21 pm

  2. Oh, wow. That is gorgeous. I love it when you capture the fuzziness of butterflies and flowers..


    Comment by Teresa Evangeline — July 23, 2013 @ 2:10 pm

    • This was near the trail head today. I was a little tired after hiking several miles and once I left the canyon the heat was becoming oppressive. The grasses were chin tall and I was looking forward to getting to the Jeep. Then these little guys showed up almost right in my face and it was a new ball game! That thistle must have some wonderful nectar to keep the butterflies just riveted to it! Or they are extraordinarily patient. And it was a lucky shot.


      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 3:30 pm

  3. Rich colors. Flying things take a lot of patience and luck … congrats.
    When they are fuzzy are they moths? I know the hummingbird moths I have been trying to get a good picture of are very fuzzy like these.


    Comment by bearyweather — July 23, 2013 @ 3:36 pm

    • The easiest distinction between moths and butterflies is that all butterflies have simple antennae that end in a swelling or “club”. Moth antennae vary in size and form but they all lack the “club” tip.

      I really love the hummingbird moths, but I’ve seen only one this year.


      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

  4. Beautiful!!


    Comment by zannyro — July 23, 2013 @ 4:16 pm

  5. Hi Montucky, Beautiful shot of the moths on that thistle flower. Have a wonderful Wednesday tomorrow!


    Comment by wildlifewatcher — July 23, 2013 @ 4:48 pm

  6. Oh my to be a butterfly…


    Comment by Roberta — July 23, 2013 @ 5:19 pm

  7. I didn’t know that about the club-like tip on the antennae. Now I’ll know. So these are butterflies? Even though they look like moths.


    Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 23, 2013 @ 6:48 pm

    • I still want to think that there is a more definitive difference than that but I guess it’s accurate. I haven’t been able to identify these without a look at the tops of their wings, but I think they are in the category of “skippers”.


      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 8:48 pm

      • They look very furry.


        Comment by wordsfromanneli — July 23, 2013 @ 9:09 pm

        • They are. So many butterflies have that kind of fur. I have no idea why they have what we would think of as such warm insulation. I’ve read that moths have even more fur than butterflies.


          Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 10:18 pm

  8. I think these are Skippers, aren’t they? They can be hard to photograph because they move so fast but you got a twofer! I didn’t know that about the club either, good to know.


    Comment by Candace — July 23, 2013 @ 7:19 pm

    • Yes, I’m pretty sure they are skippers, but I spent some time trying to ID the species with no luck. Right now they are very abundant here at the edges of the forest.
      Yes, they do move fast. I got lucky with this shot because I anticipated the one on the left landing where he did.


      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 8:50 pm

  9. Wow…such crisp detail, Terry…very nice!


    Comment by seekraz — July 23, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

  10. Very nice. I took a couple of shots of butterflies today, but I haven’t even looked at them yet.


    Comment by jomegat — July 23, 2013 @ 7:45 pm

    • I uploaded today’s photos right away because I got some fairly good shots of Indian Pipes and wanted to see how they turned out. They are the only ones I’ve seen this year.


      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 8:53 pm

  11. They look perfectly happy to laze a bit, before they spread their wings and take to the sky. Such a beautiful, detailed shot. Just lovely.


    Comment by shoreacres — July 23, 2013 @ 8:25 pm

    • They seemed to fit that, one of my favorite songs. Ella sure did it justice! I first heard it in one of the coffee houses in San Diego (El Cajon actually) in the early 60’s. (The Upper Cellar).


      Comment by montucky — July 23, 2013 @ 8:56 pm

  12. I’ve got a shot of one of those but haven’t been able to ID it. I think it’s some kind of skipper.


    Comment by New Hampshire Gardener — July 24, 2013 @ 4:16 am

    • I think it is too, but we need an open wing shot to be able to tell which one.


      Comment by montucky — July 24, 2013 @ 7:23 pm

  13. Beautiful. There are so many pollinators at work right now providing a never ending window of wonder if we just take the time to watch. Thanks for taking the time and for sharing with us.


    Comment by anniespickns — July 24, 2013 @ 7:42 am

    • Yes, there is a lot of activity going on out there now. Soon the night sounds will be starting here. I love that time too!


      Comment by montucky — July 24, 2013 @ 7:24 pm

  14. Gorgeous color in this photo! And crystal clear sharpness.


    Comment by Sue — July 24, 2013 @ 11:45 am

  15. Nice pic! There has been a bumper crop of those thistles here this year!!


    Comment by kcjewel — July 24, 2013 @ 7:10 pm

    • The thistles are doing well here too. They are already quite tall and just beginning to bloom. They also provide nice little surprises when you’re walking through very tall grass.


      Comment by montucky — July 24, 2013 @ 7:26 pm

  16. Great close up photos ! // Maria 🙂


    Comment by mariayarri — July 25, 2013 @ 2:54 am

  17. Awesome Terry, these came out great and I know how hard they are to shoot !!


    Comment by Bernie Kasper — July 25, 2013 @ 8:31 am

    • Yes, I think the main component in getting a good butterfly photo is luck!


      Comment by montucky — July 25, 2013 @ 9:23 pm

  18. Love the colors!


    Comment by winsomebella — July 25, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    • Those butterflies were in prime condition and the thistle had just begun to bloom. All of the colors were fresh and clean.


      Comment by montucky — July 25, 2013 @ 9:25 pm

  19. Oh, the life! Just flitting here and there from one pretty flower to the next. 🙂


    Comment by Mama's Empty Nest — July 25, 2013 @ 12:18 pm

    • I don’t know it they see it that way, but them seem to live in a colorful and beautiful world.


      Comment by montucky — July 25, 2013 @ 9:26 pm

  20. All I have to say is WOW!!!


    Comment by WildBill — July 25, 2013 @ 3:43 pm

  21. Eternal search for food. Awesome macro. I really do like it!


    Comment by Sartenada — July 25, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

    • They sure do have a nice dining room, don’t they, and a very simple life, although a short one.


      Comment by montucky — July 26, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

  22. We could say you went out there and won one for the skipper.


    Comment by Steve Schwartzman — July 27, 2013 @ 10:09 pm

    • I’d be pleased to win one for those skippers! They are so pretty and they are out in great numbers right now.


      Comment by montucky — July 27, 2013 @ 10:39 pm

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