Sometimes, you can't get out to all the places you want to go to photograph wildlife. Last Saturday, my plan was to head over to the Orlando Wetlands Park for a walk and wildlife shoot. But, by 10 in the morning, storms had moved into Central Florida and the thought of walking around in torrential rain and major lightening was not appealing. So, I did some work around the house until, around noon, the major storms cleared. I looked into the back yard, noticed that our Lantana was getting a lot of interest from a wide variety of butterflies, and decided that I'd bring my camera on safari right here.
My first subject was one of my favorite insects, the common Lady Bug. This girl was posing prettily for me and I was happy with the capture.
While I was concentrating on the Lady Bug, a Spicebush Swallowtail swooped in over my right shoulder so I just swung the camera around and took a few shots of this gorgeous butterfly.
A few yards farther up the fenceline, I spotted a butterfly I'd never seen in the yard before, the Gulf Fritillary.
And, right next to him, the much smaller but equally pretty White Peacock.
One of the hardest butterflies to capture is actually the State Butterfly of Florida, the Zebra Longwing. They tend to flit and dart and seldom land and stop fluttering their wings. But if you're patient and are willing to stalk, you can get a decent shot.
Overall, I spent about 20 minutes shooting in the yard. The heat and humidity were oppressive but the numbers and diversity of the subjects was worth the discomfort. On my way back inside into the air-conditioning, I took a shot of our ripening Pineapple just outside of our back door. Looks like some fresh fruit in a couple of weeks.
Here in Florida, there are lots of places to go to get great shots of various wildlife. But, sometimes, you can find great subjects right in your own back yard. Literally.