Practice makes perfect.

I am still working on improving my manual focus skill with my Olympus camera.   In this picture, I was trying to focus on the butterfly, but turns out I got an absolutely crisp image of the opening zinnia that is just above and to the right of where I was trying to focus.   I’ll keep trying…


Swallow-ed tail?

Walking back and forth through the backyard yesterday, I spotted a yellow butterfly snacking on some lantana.   I went in the house and got my camera to try to get a shot or two.  This is the clearest one.   I believe it is a kind of  swallowtail butterfly.   But it appears that something has nipped the tail end of his wings.   I’m sure he has some stories to tell…


Garden guest.

I was walking back from the shop today when I saw a butterfly fluttering among the zinnias.   She flitted around, while I stopped to watch, for a good 2 minutes, posing, in perfect light.  Of course I didn’t have a camera with me.  When I got back in the house I grabbed my phone and popped back out.  She was still there, but wouldn’t let me get as close, and didn’t pose as perfectly this time — camera shy, i guess.   I took some zoomed-in shots, not crisp, but pretty.  I think this is an eastern black swallowtail.  She does love the zinnies.


Ms. Monarch.

Danaus plexippus.

I went outside this afternoon between meetings and was greeted by a bevy of butterflies flitting around the lantana.  I snapped this shot quickly.  Bear with me, as it’s a bit fuzzy.  I had to zoom in and tweak it a bit.  My online butterfly identification guide tells me it’s a female Monarch butterfly.  You go, girl!

Taking the day off.

Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail.

My sister leaves tomorrow, so I took the afternoon off to play hooky with her.  We started off buying beads at a bead shop to get supplies for making jewelry thingies.  No pics of that – a project for another day.  Then we headed to Zilker Park for a hike on the Barton Creek Greenbelt Trail.  It was really lovely out.   High 70’s and sunny.  Perfect for a hike.  The creek is mostly dry.  We did see lots of flowers, butterflies and dragonflies.

The orange butterfly in the shot below stopped to let me take several shots.

Gulf Fritillary (Agraulis vanillae).

Later on down the trail this swallowtail stopped to let me do the same thing.

Eastern tiger swallowtail (papilio glaucus?).

I found a pretty good butterfly guide website to try to identify them.  You might want to bookmark for future reference.

After the hike we stopped by Barton Springs Pool.  Such a pretty place.  The pool was beautifully clear.

Barton Springs.

Then we ran over to Sno-Beach for a must-have best-snocone-ever experience.  You’d better hurry, they close at the end of October for the winter.  Go out and get one!


Then.  Back to Zilker to rent a kayak and tootle around Town Lake (ok, sorry “Lady Bird Lake.” old habits die hard).  We paddled all the way to the South 1st Street bridge.  On our paddle back we passed 3 UT Women’s Crew boats training.

UT Women’s 8.

The Austin City Limits Music Festival takes place this weekend.  It’s a 3 day music extravaganza hosted in Zilker Park.  Everything is setup and just about ready for the throngs of festival-goers.  I took the opportunity to take a quick shot of the festival entrance, so I wouldn’t have to come down here with 75,000 of my closest friends to get the shot this weekend.


What a great Austin afternoon!

Lenny the Leaf.

Fooled me.

This morning as I was walking by the kitchen window I notice a leaf that appeared to have blown up and gotten stuck to the hummingbird feeder.  I figured it was a remnant from some of the wind gusts during the weekend rain.   When I took a closer look, i saw that it was not a leaf, but a moth or butterfly of some sort.

Very effective camouflage, i must say.


Lantana snack.

Butterfly out back on the lantana.  Maybe one of these days I’ll have (make) the time to take some proper shots out in the garden, with a tripod and patience.  But for now, I’ll try to be quick on the shutter for these chance encounters.

Jun 8, 2011

Hold still.

I’m surprised this guy held still long enough for me to take the shot.

Today was a bit longer day than usual of endless conference calls.   I just recalled how one summer between college semesters I was looking for any kind of job I could get.  I ended up following up on an ad in the paper for telemarketer openings.   I showed up.   Sat down with a phone and some papers and started dialing.   After a few hours I was out of there – swearing I would never do that again.  You know.  I could never spend all day on the phone.  Talking to people.

So after finishing many more years of college and 20 years working, what am I doing?  Spending all day on the phone.  Talking to people.   Ironic, eh?    🙂


Oct 24, 2010

Fall fliers

We worked on the boat today.  We’ll be sore tonight – I guarantee.

While the coals were heating up for dinner tonight, I was stalking several of the last beautiful butterflies that have been fluttering about in the way back.  There were 3 or 4 that were flying back and forth through the trees right over my head.   They were pretty large and had a wing span of 4 or 5 inches.  As they flew by, I could hear the flutter of their wings.

One of them cooperated and allowed me to get several shots.  This one’s body is black with white polkadots which blend right into the wings.

Jul 8, 2010

God's an artist

I’m host tonight for a book club / girls night out that I’ve been involved with for a while.   So, I went out back to cut some flowers to bring inside and saw this really pretty butterfly.  When he flew by I didn’t think he was all that interesting because all I could see was beige.  It was starting to rain while I was outside, so he seemed happy to stay on this piece of siding to get out of the rain.  When I got closer I saw the detail on his wings and his faint greyish blue body.  I’m amazed at all the unique beautiful things out there.

Pretty cool, I think.

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