Big Bertha's Adventures

Black Swallowtail Butterfly


I remember taking photos of this butterfly at the Ft. Worth Botanic Gardens.  It was near the rose garden and the corridor where the wisteria grows.

Technically I wasn’t chasing the butterfly but I was carefully stalking it.  It’s not an easy butterfly to photograph as a novice but I was determined.  This is a Black Swallowtail butterfly and it tends not to stay still in one particular area – it tends to flutter about quite fast.  I’m not sure how long I remained in the same area—but I do know a woman walked by and noticed me taking photos.  She was heading to the pond and other parts of the garden.

She returned later and commented to me, “you’re still taking photos of that butterfly?”

“Yes!” I replied happily.

I wanted to be sure I had at least one or two decent shots.  Here are some highlights.

Big Bertha's Adventures

When I was reviewing photos to share I noticed an unexpected bee in the background of this photo.  Two for the price of one!

Big Bertha's Adventures

The butterfly is on one of my favorite annuals, known as a Penta.  It’s a plant that is guaranteed to attract butterflies—so if you want to get in to butterfly photography, add this plant to your garden.  They come in multiple colors including fuchsia and light pink.  Because they are annuals, remember they will die at the end of the season—but they are worth having in the garden.

Tips:
These shots were taken in the middle of the day—nice and sunny!  Admittedly, that’s not the best time to take outdoor photos but don’t let that keep you from trying.  Go outdoors when the butterflies are out prancing about.  Prove that a nice shot is possible even if it’s on a bright, sunny day.  The alternative is not having tried, not having built up experience as a photographer and not having a black swallowtail butterfly in your library of photos.

Camera:  Sony DSC-V1
Date:  October 2005

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