Last week, I was at Mylor Conservation Park orchid hunting but as we were walking along the track, lots of butterflies rose up and went before us. The thing was that I couldn’t see where they had been resting but suddenly they were there flying ahead of us. This happened time and time again. I would have liked to have gotten a photograph but I never knew when there would be a mass uprising.
Typical habitat for Mylor Conservation Park
So, what had I learnt about photographing creatures – walk slowly so as to not disturb them. Once spotted, photograph, take a careful step closer, photograph and repeat until one got a better picture. There was just one problem. I was walking slowly – orchid hunting demands that. Despite that, I still could not see them until they were in the air. I could not get close to them.
Forgetting the orchids (what sacrilege), I had to find out where were these butterflies hiding.
So, what do I do? Well, I watched one to see where it landed, took note of the landing area and then used the zoom on my camera (Panasonic DMC TZ80) to see if I could spot it and eventually I did see it; amongst the leaf litter.
Typical leaf litter in which the butterflies were resting.
The butterfly, it would have been the same distance away from me as Robert was from me in the first photograph.
It was well and truly camouflaged, as the following picture show.
Not a gum leaf but an effectively camouflaged butterfly and it was watching me!
Later I was able to get a very nice picture of one that was too busy sunning herself to be hiding.
Heteronympha merope (Common Brown) sunning herself
So, by carefully watching and patience I was able to obtain a photograph that I could upload to iNaturalist. Also, I learnt something new about butterfly behaviour. And I am more prepared for the CNC Greater Adelaide 2020.
Oh, and the orchid I was hunting …
Corunastylis sp Adelaide Hills
… it too, is close to the ground and may be found hiding in the leaf litter, but it doesn’t fly off when approached!