Fall Colors

Reminder:  You can enlarge any of the photos in this blog by clicking on it.  Click again for a full-screen image.

It’s almost autumn here in southern Arizona.  Of course, “autumn” in these parts isn’t quite what it is elsewhere.  We’re still routinely seeing daytime highs in the mid-upper 90s and the Monsoon rains haven’t quite definitively come to an end (although they will, any day now).  But, change is definitely in the air.  Large numbers of migratory birds are passing through the area and this weekend I’ll go out with a friend and attempt to bring back a few photos.  Another harbinger of the change of seasons is the proliferation of butterflies that we are experiencing.  All sorts of butterfly species are peaking right about now and these colorful insects show up everywhere that there are plants in bloom.

The other day I captured this image.

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This small and very beautiful little butterfly — about 3/4 of an inch across — is a Metalmark.  I’m undecided as to precisely which species of Metalmark it is.  I’ve narrowed it down to two — the Zela Metalmark or the more common Fatal Metalmark — and that’s about as far as I can go.  There can be a lot of color variation among individual Metalmarks and that makes identification difficult.  But, whatever, it’s a highly attractive individual and I love the image, whatever species it is.

I will be showing more butterflies in days to come.

Image made with a Canon 5DS-R, 180 f3.5L Macro lens assisted by a Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite, M setting, ISO 125, f13 @ 1/160.

2 responses to “Fall Colors”

  1. Elaine Greenapple says :

    Hi there Steven My husband, Rich Bailowitz, author of 70 Common Butterflies of Arizona, amongst other butterfly guides, says it’s a Fatal Metalmark, (*Calephelis nemesis*). The dark band through the middle of the wings is a good indicator that it is Fatal and the hind wing would be more orange in the Zela. Zela would also be bigger. So good for all of us to learn! I really enjoy your daily posts! Best, Elaine Greenapple


  2. Liesl Kii says :

    My first thought was, “the butterfly on this flower would be a lovely piece of jewelry.”

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