Friday, June 4, 2010


While in the woods, I decided to sit on a fallen tree for a few minutes and see what happened by. Just as I sat down, this Comma butterfly lit about three feet from my side. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to get some good shots of a Comma. I slowly brought out my camera so as not to scare away the subject.

After a couple of shots, the Comma flew over to sit on a leaf a couple feet in front of me. This was even better. I’m endeavoring to get record shots of all organisms living at Blue Jay Barrens. A project like this would have been way too expensive in the days prior to digital cameras. As I explained to my wife when she questioned my camera purchase, if I took 500 shots, the cost of the camera would be less than the cost of film and developing using my old camera. After that, all the pictures would be free. I took those 500 shots the first weekend I had the camera. After that, I kept pointing out to my wife, until she told me to stop it, how much money I was saving with my new investment.

From the leaf, the Comma shifted to my pants leg. A little bit harder to get the right angle, but getting closer. I’ve taken pictures of commas before and have plenty of photos that clearly show that I’ve properly identified the butterfly. What I really want for each species is the perfect portrait and that’s much harder to get than a documentation photo.

Well, it’s moved closer again. It's possible to still find some of the adults that survived the winter, but an individual as crisp and clean as this must be from the first brood of the year. Photographing something on the front of my shirt makes it a bit awkward to aim the camera. One digital shot costs no more than 100, so I keep on shooting.

Now it’s starting to get too close. It flew up and began drinking sweat from the hand that’s supposed to be holding the camera. It wasn’t disturbed when I shifted the camera to the other hand. My camera isn’t designed to fit comfortably in the left hand. I had to contort my finger across the top of the camera in order to take the shot, but I think I got a shot that shows this to undeniably be a Comma.


  1. Oh what fun you had with this adventure. And just because you decided to sit still for a few minutes!! ~karen

  2. Karen - I was just enjoying the fact that I wasn't being bitten by mosquitoes or deer flies, when I was suddenly attacked by a butterfly.