08.11.2020 Another Day, Another Skipper

Two different skipper species ties my annual record in the yard. Maybe they don’t visit the yard all that often or I just might not be looking at the right time.  But it was a delight to have a pair of these Peck’s Skippers-Polites peckius on our Allium yesterday afternoon.

Of course I wanted a wing spread so moved directly behind the skipper and it obliged.  But…what was interesting was how quickly the wings snapped shut just as I released the shutter.  I guess it was reacting to the flash or maybe the autofocus but that was frustrating.  Eventually I figured that if I hit the shutter a second after the first (I generally do not use motor drive…maybe I should) it kept the wings open.

What a nice treat in the garden.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Amherst, Butterflies, Closeup Photography, Lepidoptera, macro photography, Nature Photography and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to 08.11.2020 Another Day, Another Skipper

  1. krikitarts says:

    Ah, the delta-winged X-fighters of the lepidoptera force. I’m still in awe of how they are able to navigate their precise landings from their seemingly-frantic flight patterns. The time perception in their little brains must work so much faster than ours. When I think of the care I must exercise to back down Batty’s driveway safely (after having misjudged once), I am impressed yet again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think most non-humans have a faster reaction to stimuli than we do. Definitely faster than I…although I am very good at backing up. Having said that I’ll probably back into a trash can today. I am in awe of anything that flies and especially those that do so with such precision.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Like you, I’ve noticed many a butterfly that reacts to flash or to the confirmatory chirp of the autofocus in our Canon camera bodies.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very nice Steve! Great detail!


  4. Steve, I was frustrated at missing shots due to the camera trying to autofocus every time I pushed the shutter button, so I converted all my Canon cameras to “back-button autofocus.” I set it up so that my camera focuses using the AE button with my right thumb, then when I push the shutter button it fires the shutter IMMEDIATELY rather than with that slight delay. After a few days of practice, it’s now second nature to focus this way. One of many links on setting it up: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/how-to-use-back-button-focus-on-your-dslr/

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Mike Powell says:

    Recently I too have been spending lots of times waiting for butterflies to open their wings. Sometimes they will accommodate me and sometimes they won’t and sometimes they will simply fly away. I know how small skippers are, so I am really impressed by the amount of detail that you were able to capture. Were you using your 40D and dual flash again?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, same combo, Mike. I am immensely impressed with the performance of the three together (adding the 100 macro). I was never completely satisfied with the results of the top mounted 550EX flash unit so this is a huge improvement. The Youngnuo performs so well that I cannot imagine the extra hundreds for the Canon twin would show much improvement but I am not a flash aficionado so my opinion is limited.


      • Mike Powell says:

        I generally am not a big fan of using flash for anything, Steve, but am intrigued with the Yongnuo one (and I have to admit that I take a fair number of photos in limited light situations when additional light would belp.


      • Until recently and the purchase of this twin flash, I had little enthusiasm for either flash or handheld photography. This old dog has learned a new trick, Mike. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  6. melissabluefineart says:

    I’m amazed it held still for one photo, let alone two! Don’t they look cool when they spread their wings like that? Nice images.


  7. Eliza Waters says:

    I love skippers – we seem to have a lot of silver-spotted ones and they are most active in the morning, sunning themselves on the deck railing while defending their territory, even trying to chase away hummingbirds, lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. We have skippers similar to these, but I have not seen any this year. I have seen and photographed other skippers, and they are always a joy to see. Lovely portraits, Steve.

    Liked by 1 person

    • There are so many skippers just among those here in the northeast that I cannot keep them straight in my mind. Even one as easily identified as this species still sends me to the field guide. Thanks, Pete.


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