Monday, August 18, 2008

Ode to Joy

Pipevine Swallowtails near Mountainburg, AR all images (c) by Kirk Jordan

Last Thursday(8/14/08) on a several hour drive back from Springdale, AR (to Little Rock) I took a side highway near Mountainburg that culminated in these images. It helped that there was only one major thistle outcrop for a country mile, so the butterflies all came in dense pack. I must have taken two hundred frames often squinting into the sun, just waiting for the right arrangements. And boy did the wonder juice flow.

With a little help from biologist Maranda Henley, she's determined that these are Pipevine Swallowtails. She writes:

It took quite a bit of searching to find an underside photo, but my research has definitely paid off. These are all Pipevine Swallowtails. I knew black (Black Swallowtail) didn't seem right because of their only having one row of orange spots. Spicebush have two rows as well. "Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail" didn't quite fit either. I'm glad I did the researching--I had not realized Pipevine Swallowtails have such color. So instead of mimics, you got the real things!


Photo Buff stuff: These images result from a blend of sun light and electronic flash. The color is exaggerated because I am packing flash back into sun. Beyond that, the butterfly wings have a reflective quality that really shouts when flashed.


The Mighty Works Project exists to celebrate the metamorphosis that takes place in the lives of those in whom God is working.