Bronze Copper

Septermber 4, 2012

I never know in advance precisely what I’ll photograph. I go out into the world and hope I will come across something that imperatively interests me. I am addicted to the found object. I have no doubt that I will continue to make photographs till my last breath.

Ansel Adams

I was pleased to run across the above quote by Ansel Adams while reading his autobiography this weekend. It made my response to the frequent question from my friends, “What are you going to photograph this weekend?” seem much more valid, or should I say much less lame. Said response is typically, “Oh, I don’t know – whatever I run across; something always turns up.” Now I know I’m in good company when I go out looking for images with virtually no plan.

In this edition, a bronze copper settles on a low perch in search of a mate on the prairie at Columbia Bottom Conservation Area. I ran across this little gem while photographing dickcissels, a beautiful bird of the openlands, one spring morning. This butterfly is a member of a family of tiny butterflies which includes blues, coppers and hairstreaks. According to “Butterflies and Moths of Missouri” by Heitzman and Hetizman, the smallest butterfly in North America also hails from this family. I love the copper color and striped antennae on this specimen, as well as its up-turned snout. I understand that several species in this family are associated with ants during their larval stage so maybe James Trager, an ant expert at Missouri Botanical Garden’s, Shaw Nature Reserve, will have an interesting anecdote for us after he reads this edition.

Columbia Bottom can be a daunting location for photographers. It is so open and expansive that your first thought on arrival is, “Where do I go first?” But after you get used this unique conservation area, situated at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, you will find ample opportunity for a variety of images. I’ve photographed everything from butterflies to coyotes at Columbia Bottom and I look forward to many more images in the future. Unfortunately, the area is over an hour from my home so I don’t get out there too often. I hope you enjoy this copper-colored jewel of the prairie as much as I did.

Canon 40D; Canon 300/4 L IS; 1/800 sec @ Ff/6.3; ISO 200; RAW Capture; Feisol  CT3301 Carbon Fiber Tripod with Markins M10 (Cadillac) Ballhead; Processed in Canon Digital Photo Professional (DPP)

Thanks for Looking!



4 comments on “Bronze Copper”

  1. I do love the prairie areas, and I have never found a lack of interesting things to see….thanks for this tiny jewel!

  2. Good morning Danny. What an incredible shot of that beautiful tiny butterfly.I love the color, especially the stripped socks he is wearing. It must have taken you quite a long time, to capture the perfect poise. I also enjoyed your article, and photo, on that beautiful Blue-Winged teal, that was published in the September issue of the Missouri Conservationist. Keep on doing what you do, everyone loves it.

    Art T.

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