I first entered Gardening Gone Wild's "Picture This" photo contest back in February. It's always fun to see the wonderful photos that all the bloggers enter. (And fun to win, I'll admit!) There's some seriously great talent out there and this is a way for the rest of us to get to see more of it, as well as stretch our amateur photography muscles.
This month's theme is "The Best Frame You Have Ever Created." I've got a few photos that I can never get enough of looking at, so I decided to enter the contest again.
One day last summer, I was walking through my gardens with camera in hand (as usual) and as I looked over at the 'White Swan' Echinaceas, I saw a Red-Spotted Purple (Leminitis arthemis astyanax) perched on top of one. Quietly, I turned my camera on and zoomed in on it.
It allowed me just two photos, then it was gone. Had I hesitated even for a couple of seconds, the moment would have been lost.
I'm pretty certain this one was newly emerged, judging from the crisp freshness of his wings. Perhaps he was born in the garden here at Our Little Acre?
According to Butterflies and Moths of North America, the Red-Spotted Purple's range is the eastern half of North America, plus Mexico, New Mexico and Arizona. There's a distinction between those that occur in the northern and southern parts of their eastern range:
"The White Admiral form usually occurs north of a line through north central New England, New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Minnesota. The Red-spotted Purple form is usually found south of this line. Much hybridization occurs where these forms meet."
In some Limenitis, the reddish coloring occurs only on the underneath side of the top wings, which is the case with the one in my photos.
In any event, I was thrilled to have been in the right place at the right time and for this month's Picture This contest, I've chosen this image for my entry: