Some of my Favorite Things…..Butterflies

beautiful creature

There is just something about the miraculous transformation that a caterpillar undergoes resulting into a beautiful creature.  I think that is what continue to amaze us, even as adults.  

beautiful creature

 Painted Lady

Last spring, my kids and I raised butterflies ourselves using a kit that I had found at Costco.  

beautiful creature

My daughter, Gracie, getting ready to let her butterflies free.

It was so much fun seeing them transform before our eyes and then getting ready to let them go.

It is hard for me to think of them as insects…..

I don’t particularly enjoy holding caterpillars in my hand, but I find intense enjoyment when a butterfly alights on my hand.

It is sometimes hard for me to get a good picture of a butterfly…..

Swallowtail feeding upon Lantana

Swallowtail feeding upon Lantana.

Believe me, I have tried, but they usually turn out blurry, like the one above.

Butterflies do not seem to understand that they need to sit still so that I can get the ‘perfect’ shot with my camera 😉

Thankfully, there are always butterfly pavilions at our local botanic garden where the butterflies are content to stay still so that I can take their picture…..  

Beautiful creature

Beautiful creature

How about you?

Have you had luck taking pictures of butterflies? 


Please come and see my latest Birds & Blooms post

Beautiful Native Shrub With a Floral Surprise

Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a author, horticulturist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."
8 replies
  1. Gardens at Waters East
    Gardens at Waters East says:

    Enjoyed your comments about the butterflies. I did do some pictures of the Monarchs that pass through my gardens (see March 1 posting). I will agree, they do not sit still for long. I was a sight to see running around the garden trying to "capture" them on the camera. I can only imagine what the neighbors thought! Jack

  2. Rohrerbot
    Rohrerbot says:

    Sometimes the blurry ones are the best!!:)
    I take too many butterfly shots and have gotten some great ones….but my issue, hummingbirds. How do you get the hummers to sit still? I have not snapped a successful pic yet of this elusive fluttering turbojet!

  3. James Missier
    James Missier says:

    The magic of having butterflies is like a fairy visiting the garden.
    I had once cared for caterpillars until they turn into butterflies.
    The best time to capture them still is early in the morning.
    when their body are still cold and they flutter less before the sun warms them up.

  4. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Hi Noelle, i laughed much at Liz comment above. Yes they are very still when dead! We have lots of butterflies too in the property in the province in their natural habitat. There are periods when they really swarm, mostly about 2 weeks after the first rains. When i happen to be home this time it was really awesome, as if you're in fairyland. The problem really is to wait for them sit still, which they dont do. My problem there is that we dont see them early in the morning, they are still hiding, and when they are already active, pictures seem very impossible. The swallowtails always flutter their forewings and close them when they alight. Oh Noelle, that is my problem too. Yes i just go to the butterfly houses to get steady inhabitants, haha! But your photos are okay.

  5. Mac_fromAustralia
    Mac_fromAustralia says:

    So frustrating, we've had a couple of different really large butterflies in the garden lately and I usually haven't had my camera with me and they were too fast anyway.

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