Caterpillars and Butterflies

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On one of the mornings I was out doing a shoot of the Estero Bay and the Estero River for Visitestero.com we ran into an Estero Bay Budies board member who happened to have a butterfly garden. She asked if we wanted to see it and maybe get some photos and I was all for it. It was one of the coolest things! She had all kinds of plants and flowers that different butterflies like. There were about ten to fifteen flying around and she told us that ther is normally more haha.

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One of the coolest things she showed us was this chrysalis that was hanging off of a wooden stick. There was this whole mesh container in her garage with a few different chrysalis and caterpillars but this one must have gotten out and decided to change into a butterfly on the stick. It was awesome because you could pick up the stick and get a really close look.

DSC_3332This orange caterpillar was my favorite because it looks super scary. It has these back spiky looking things all over it that just look terrifying but it really is completely harmless haha! Very cool experience!

Naples Botanical Garden

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My girlfriend Laura’s Mom and Grandma came for a quick visit last Sunday and we all took a trip to the Naples Botanical Garden. I was pretty excited because I have been wanting to go for a while I just never got around to it. I heard from more than a few people that it was a great place to explore and get some really cool photos. I was more than impressed when I got there, it was like photographer heaven! I am not that big on plants or flowers…I couldn’t tell you a single name of any of them. However I love taking pictures of them. There are so many different shapes, colors, patterns, and sizes when it comes to plants so they make for really awesome subject matter. Naples Botanical Garden has lots of variety too. I had no idea I could be so interested in plants. I saw plants That I didn’t even know existed all with crazy shapes and colors.

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This is a type of bromeliad (don’t ask me which one you’re lucky I know it’s a bromeliad) and it was my favorite plant that we saw that day. The colors are so bright and vibrant. It reminded me of a plant that you would find growing in Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. I think I will rename it the Cotton Candy Plant haha!

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I liked this plant a lot because it is red and red is my favorite color. This plant reminds me of the lava lamp I used to have because its leaves look like red blobs. I wanted one so bad when I was a little kid and when I finally got one I was super excited because it was red and had red lava! So just another cool plant that is a bit different than you would expect.

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They have a butterfly enclosure with I would say about 20 or so different butterflies and all of the plants that each one likes. Once again I have no clue about butterflies but I love taking pictures of them because of all the different colors and shapes they come in. I might not know the names of butterflies but I know which ones I have seen before and there where tons of butterflies I never saw before in the enclosure. I spent a lot of time in there chasing around a bunch of butterflies to try and get a shot.

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All of the butterflies seemed to cooperate besides the one in the photo above. It just wouldn’t land anywhere to give me the opportunity to snap a photo of it. The first time I was in the enclosure I didn’t even get a shot of it. We wound up going all around through the different gardens and then before leaving I went back to the enclosure with the mission of getting a photo of this one before we left. I just really liked how bright and blue it was so I wanted to get a shot of it. Finally it settled down for just a few seconds and I was able to get the shot. The butterfly wound up landing on a really cool patterned plant which I think adds a bit more to the photo than if it was just on normal looking leaf or flower.

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My favorite photo from the trip to the botanical garden is of this yellow grasshopper. I would have completely missed it too if it wasn’t for Laura’s Mom (thanks Mrs. Metzler!!) I wound up walking right past it but Mrs. Metzler spotted it hanging out on the leaf. It is kind of funny, it looks like it is lounging on the leaf because it was on its abdomen and its back legs were hanging off. He hung around for quite a bit and allowed me enough time to take a really good photo of him before he jumped away.

I had a great time at the Naples Botanical Garden and I want to go back soon. It was a beautiful place with hundreds and hundreds of photo opportunities. I suggest everyone go check it out if you want to see some really cool plants and flowers that you probably will not ever see elsewhere.

Chasing Butterflies

This post is really really past due since the photos I took for it have been edited and sitting on my laptop for forever now haha. Sometimes you just get super busy and there isn’t time to make a proper post. That being said, now that I have had a few moments to myself I can actually sit down and write what I would like to.

About a week ago I noticed this bush at the bus loop on FGCU’s campus. It has these green stem looking things with blueish purple flowers all over, up and down the stems. I think it looks really cool so after class I went back to my dorm, grabbed my camera, and then headed back to campus so I could get a couple shots.

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I have no clue what kind of plant this is so if you do feel free to comment and let me know haha!

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After only about 2 minutes of shooting the plant I realized that the bush was a hangout spot for at least 20 or so giant furry bumblebees that were the size of peanuts! I was worried at first but they didn’t seem to mind me being all up in their business trying to get some photos. I tried to get some shots of the bees, but they weren’t really cooperating with me.

After getting over the fear of being stung by the camera shy bees, I spotted a butterfly floating around the bush as well. The butterfly was cooperating with me more than the bees were so I was able to get a few shots, but man did I have to work for it. The butterfly kept going around the bush in circles only stopping for fractions of a second on the green stems every once in a while. This was giving me an extremely small window of opportunity to get a good shot of the butterfly. Also my auto focus was giving me issues because it had to many things it was trying to focus on since the butterfly wouldn’t hold still. As I was running around this bush chasing the butterfly I was manually focusing and refocusing because the butterfly would move out of focus. I have a great collection of blurry butterfly pictures now but it was worth it to get the few shots that I did.

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I only shot photos of the bush and the butterfly for about 45 minutes but I was exhausted and I probably needed a shower. It was 97 degrees out and I was chasing a butterfly around a bush, you would be hot and exhausted too haha.

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Once again, just like the bush, I have no idea what kind of butterfly this is, so if you do, don’t be afraid to leave a comment and let me know.
Enjoy the photos!