Sunday, July 27, 2008

Beautiful Butterflies and Some Nature Journal Ideas

Showy Milkweed in Stoneman's Meadow, Yosemite Valley.

We did see some Monarchs fluttering and flying around the milkweed but there was never a chance to photograph one, maybe next time. :)

We were on the lookout for butterflies on our recent camping trip to Yosemite. Many were too fast or would not sit still long enough for a photo but here are a few that I can share. All these were butterflies that I saw as we went on various hikes in a variety of terrain and habitat. My daughter decided that she would rather take photos of flowers than insects because flowers stay in one place. :)

We know this is some sort of Fritillary but which exact one, we are not so confident. If I had to make a best guess, I think it is a Pacific Fritillary or a Western Meadow Fritillary.

Okay, there are two butterflies in this photo. It was taken in a marshy meadow area near Lukens Lake. There is one distinctly blue and one distinctly brown butterfly but I have no idea what particular ones they are even after examining the field guide for a long time. I'm not very good at identifying butterflies....yet.

Here is another blue butterfly sitting on some bird droppings. My best guess on this one is a Lupine Blue.

Now this one I think is a Woodland Skipper. I know it is a skipper for sure and it looks just like the one in my field guide.

You can see why I was able to take some good photos of these beauties, they were otherwise occupied with more important activities at that particular moment. I still haven't been able to identify this particular butterfly. Any ideas???

Here is one of my nature journal pages that I used to record one of my experiences with butterflies. I was testing out Tina's new notebooking pages that she is creating for an upcoming Outdoor Hour Challenge E-book that we are putting together to share with everyone. This page shows my attempt to record a bit about our butterfly study this past week.

Someone was asking recently about how I keep a running list in my nature journal. This is so easy to do and it doesn't need to be fancy. Tina has created an easy to use version of a running list that will also be in the upcoming E-book.

As you can see, I really just list the butterfly name if I know it and the date and place that I observed it. If I am not sure, I make a note and then use my photographs to identify it later when I have time to use the field guide and the internet.

So those are some of the butterflies that I was able to capture with my camera. We saw many, many Tiger swallowtails and a particular yellow butterfly that we have yet to identify. I look at this project as a life-long endeavor and if I don't catch the butterfly this time, maybe I will the next time.

Barb-Harmony Art Mom

Edit to add: Heather asked about my nature journal and how I plan on using the notebooking pages if I am using a spiral bound sketch diary as my nature journal. I made a decision to change to a bigger size nature journal, still spiral bound since I find that easiest to work in. I only have three pages left in my smaller spiral bound nature journal so I will be starting over in a 9" by 12" spiral bound artist's sketchbook that I purchased from Miller Pads and Paper. I will be attaching the pages into the sketchbook with double-backed tape; running lists will be in the back and the other sheets will go in order starting in the front. This will give me the flexibility to use the notebooking pages or to just freehand my entries in as I feel the need. I love to have options. This sketchbooks use heavy enough paper that I feel comfortable using watercolors in them as well as pencils and markers. Hope that explains it!

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