2014—Lavender Wars

Three different winged critters were vying for dominance over the lavender this afternoon. First was a Skipper, a small orangey brown butterfly that looks more like a moth than a butterfly. When the Gray Hairstreak (my personal favorite) arrived, the skipper tried unsuccessfully to scare it away. A few honeybees made their presence known and before I knew it, the honeybees were in control and the two small butterflies were gone. I didn’t see the Skipper or the Gray Hairstreak again.

I used the 70-200mm lens on the D7100 and sat on the patio just a couple of feet away from the lavender and watched the battle for “king of the lavender” ensue. Once again, getting proper focus was my issue. First, I found I was frequently too close with the long lens because they were moving constantly and occasionally flying too close to me and I was seated. I also discovered that I have developed a very bad habit of holding my thumb on the AE-F button (I use back button focus) after I have achieved proper focus; in continuous focus mode, when I move to recompose or follow a moving creature, I lose focus. That could explain why I had no in focus shots of Webster, a Lanner/Saker falcon hybrid who put on an amazing acrobatic show at the California Foundation for Birds of Prey Open House last weekend. Now to concentrate on breaking that habit! I had the camera set to continuous focus but by the time the bees were in control, I had changed back to single point focus. That helped.

Day 141-12

Day 141-206

Day 141-37-2