On a cool, overcast, but unfortunately rainless day, I stopped by the Coronado Butterfly Preserve to view the overwintering Monarch butterflies. The light was so dim, that it appeared that the butterflies were as gray as the eucalyptus bark.
However, in a photo taken at a high ISO 800, slow shutter-speed 1/40 sec, F-stop of 5.0, the closed sides of the butterfly wings can be seen to be very pale orange. (Tamron 200-500mm, 1.4 extender) The dark edging of the wings together with the very pale orange probably merged into a blurry gray from a distance.
The butterflies should remain resting on the eucalyptus trees until about February, at which time they should slowly start to disperse. Hopefully, there will be an opportunity on a sunny day at that time to record the energetic flutter of bright orange weaving in and out of the gray-green eucalyptus leaves, as the Monarchs leave on their various journeys.
Here’s wishing that 2008 will be happier and filled with the optimism of many and better ideas spreading and being accepted around the world to rescue this ailing planet.
(Overwintering Monarch Butterflies – December 28, 2007)
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