Little Brown Butterfly, I

Photograph of a small, brown butterfly

I haven’t been able to identify this butterfly.  It was at the Butterflies LIVE exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden so it may not be native to the United States.  If anybody knows the species I’d appreciate a comment.

Common Morpho, I

Photograph of a Common Morpho butterfly resting on a leaf

This Common Morpho was kind enough to sit still while I photographed it head-on.  It’s a large butterfly with brilliant blue on the upperside of its wings and brown with black and yellow eyespots on the undersides.

Wilting Camelia, I

photograph of a wilting camelia flower

The camelia flowers have had their run.

Their work is nearly done and their time is running out.

In a few more days this flower will be gone.

Eastern River Cooter

Photograph of an Eastern River Cooter on the Rappahannock River in Virginia

This small Eastern River Cooter was basking on a sunny log in the Rappahannock River as a paddled my canoe past it last July.  I don’t know much about the turtles of Virginia so I may have misidentified this one.

American Goldfinch, female

photograph of a female American Goldfinch on a branch

During the breeding season the American Goldfinch has beautiful, bright yellow plumage that turns to a sort of olive green in the fall.  This female, decked out in her summer plumage, looks curious about something.  The males are similarly colored but sport a prominent black cap as part of their breeding plumage.


Northern Cardinal, 4

photograph of a male Northern Cardinal

Virginia’s state bird can be difficult to photograph. The Northern Cardinal normally keeps at a safe distance from people so it’s hard to get really close to them.  The male’s brilliant red color can also make exposure and even focus difficult at times.  I captured this one in open shade and that seems to have resolved the color issues.