Woodland Beauty

First, I want to thank the many messages of encouragement and the many prayers for me and my wife during her unexpected illness and subsequent passing. Me and my family are humbled by the many cards, e-mails and messages sent via social media. They are all much appreciated!

Over the last few days, arrangements for a Celebration of Life have been finalized, as well as a lot of activity pertaining to my wife’s personal matters. With that done, I felt the strong need to get back out with the camera and clear my head and rejoice in the wonders of nature. Today’s post features one of those moments.

While hiking one of the nearby prairies, I came upon a Common Wood Nymph (Cercyonis pegala) butterfly at the edge of the woods. As I approached, it fluttered off, but not very far, so I carefully closed in and captured this image:

Common Wood Nymph on a prairie leaf

The Common Wood Nymph is a medium-sized, brownish butterfly with an “eyespot” on the underneath side. They belong to the family of satyrs (Satyridae), so called because of their dancing flight through the woodlands. Once disturbed, the satyrs can be difficult to follow. They immediately fly rapidly away, but often drop into grass or land against a shaded tree trunk, or on a leaf. Remaining still with their wings held together and tilted to avoid casting a shadow, they can be very well hidden. Fortunately for me, I kept both eyes on this little fellow as he flew off and dropped into a clump of prairie plants, landing on a leaf.

Photographic Equipment Used:

  • Canon 7D Mark 2 body
  • Canon EF 180mm, f/3.5 macro lens
  • Bogen 3221 tripod with ballhead
  • ISO 1250
  • Aperture f/16
  • Shutter 1/13 sec.



Posted in Butterfly Photography, Insect Photography, Macro Photography, Nature Photography
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