Archive for February 17th, 2009


A surprisingly docile butterfly.

A surprisingly docile butterfly.

Over the weekend I went to the butterfly grove in Goleta in a very lepidopterist move. In the beginning of the school year I remembered hearing about the a butterfly grove being near the campus so I looked it up. I found some mentions of it on the internet, finally finding the information at the  Santa Barbara Hikes website. 

Before going I looked up the grove on flickr to find out what to expect. What I noticed in all of the pictures was an off cast to the light, I thought it might have been one person but as I looked farther they all had it.

So when I went to the grove I was surprised to find my pictures had the same tint as the ones I saw before. I tried out a polarizing filter but it did not help the color cast, rather it reduced the light so I could not get a steady photo at 200mm. 

I thought it could be caused by the prolific eucalyptus like in the Blue Mountains, turns out that they don’t actually have that effect. So it could be air coming off the ocean or maybe simply unexplainable butterfly dust. I am sure it is that.

At about eleven in the morning almost all of the butterflies were still asleep on the branches, most looked like dead leaves with a few bright oranges interspersed between. A few single butterflies fluttered around the trees and as I was leaving one landed on the ground right in front of me. I started to hesitantly take photos and slowly inched closer until I was about a foot away. 

In the end I really wished I had a good 100mm macro lens.

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