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Painted Lady -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com Previous Next

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Few have noticed the delicate stained-glass window design of the American Painted Lady's wings.  They move quickly and tend to be timid, but when the right flowers are around they slow down and are fascinating to watch.  This one found a patch of asters growing in my yard and was sipping nectar.  It was kind enough to let me photograph it for almost an hour and to get very close.  I shot an entire 36-exposure roll, getting several great photos.  Most people getting their portrait taken are not so patient!  To have a butterfly aware of my presence and still let me take so many shots at close range is a great reward for my efforts to show nature to others.  

In the picture above if you look carefully you'll see the butterfly's tongue extending down to the aster to drink nectar.  The enlarged photo shows every detail from the delicate scales covering the wings to the pattern in its eyes.  Many are surprised to see the thick coat of fuzzy hairs covering its body.  Of the three kinds of Painted Ladies, this one is the least common.  The scientific name is Vanessa virginiensis. 

In 2004 this photograph was exhibited at the US Botanic Garden in Washington, DC.  It was selected by the North American Pollinator Protection Campaign for the show "Dynamic Duos:  Plants and Pollinators," which emphasized the interdependency between pollinating creatures, plants, and human survival.  If you are interested in attracting more butterflies to your yard, Click here to see a list of plants for attracting butterflies to gardens in the Portland, Oregon area and Columbia Gorge.  


View more butterflies

Related image:  Painted Lady on Cosmos

Info:  Chromira digital print of Provia 100F 35mm slide


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