Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Copper Collection!

This blog is a week away from our third year anniversary. Never would have thought it would last this long. One post on yard art has seen 2900 visits  and we have had 4550 comments thus far!

Any way I wanted to share some of my butterfly photo collection, I have been photographing butterflies since the fall of 1997. Here are an assortment of all the different copper species I have photographed. Coppers are limited in the eastern US to a few species, in the western US there are lots of different coppers.

American Copper, Lycaena phlaeas (above and below)
This copper is the only one we have in North Carolina. I once found a field that I estimated seeing 200 of these beauties, been back several time only to find a few butterflies.
Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus (male photo above and below)
The above photo graces the front cover of a book "Butterflies of Ohio" I took this photo with a point and shoot camera G5 way back in 2002! You will also note that the way the sunlight hits these butterflies changes the iridescence of the butterfly. As the butterfly ages it looses scales and the iridescence. 

 I know a few locations along the Ohio River near Cincinnati, Ohio and Huntington West Virginia to find these large beautiful coppers.

Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus (female above photo)
Purplish Copper, Lycaena helloides (male above, unknown sex below)
These are pretty common in the western United States, I found them often on my adventures, they are very busy and hard to photograph.

Edith's Copper, Lycaena editha (female above and below)
This was the only Edith's Copper I saw in Colorado, it was quick and my camera buddies with me missed seeing it. Likely my favorite copper butterfly.

Gray Copper, Lycaena dione (above photo)
I've only seen this one Gray Copper, it was exciting to find and I wished I'd gotten better photos of it.
Ruddy Copper, Lycaena rubidus (above photo)
The real beauty of these coppers is when the wings are open, you can just see a hint of the copper colored wings on the butterfly on the left. This was the only ruddies I saw on the Colorado trip and I missed getting better photos of it.
 Blue Copper, Lycaena heteronea (female above) 
I found this in the Rockies in Colorado back in July of 2005.

 Blue Copper, Lycaena heteronea (male above and below)
This is why these are called Blue Coppers. Even with all I know about butterflies seeing one of these males on the ground with the wings open I would instantly think it was a blue butterfly.
Meg and I started taking stained glass classes on Tuesday nights. It looks to be a lot of fun, though I already knew how to cut glass, which was the focus of our first class. I set up a table in the basement to be our art studio for now. The basement is not heated and glass cuts much better when it is warm. Here is a first look at my first stained glass project, still a lot to learn.

The cobalt blue glass is going to be used in 2, 3, 5 and 6. Now if I only had a glass grinder. Choosing glass seems to be the hardest part. I plan on eventually making my own designs from some of my butterfly, dragonfly and flower photos.


NotSoAngryRedHead said...

Your knowledge and photographic butterfly collection are always impressive!

I think it would be so cool to have a greenhouse done in subtle (and largely transparent) stained glass. It would be extraordinarily excessive, but there's no harm in dreaming. What kind of glass is going in 12-15?

~Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Those butterflies are beautiful!!!

Caroline Gill said...

What an astonishing multi-talented post, Randy! Those butterflies are so magnificent and so beautifully taken on your camera. I had no idea you had so many Coppers. The stained glass is already looking really good ... I love those blues (speaking of which, Frost's 'Blue-Butterfly Day' poem has long been a favourite). Professor P. Brain in Swansea (where I lived until October) saw an early caterpillar ... so perhaps spring is almost on the way, though we still have lying snow and treacherous ice.

Andrea said...

Hi Randy, they are all so beautiful, i think i saw some of them here too like the blue, but i didn't know their names. Whenever i look at your photos, i always feel disgusted with mine! Grrrr! Happy new art activity! You always come up with new things.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

Your photos are amazing! The first one took my breath away. Thank you for letting me see those little buggers up close.

sweetbay said...

So many gorgeous close-ups Randy!

meemsnyc said...

Wow, what absolutely gorgeous photos of butterflies! You should make a calendar with these!

tina said...

Congrats on nearly three years! You have a great blog with so many fabulous pictures of the insects that it is an indispensable tool for butterfly identifiers everywhere. This post is a perfect example. Can't wait to see your stained glass project.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

You are certainly my 'go-to' guy for butterflies, moths, dragonflies, and damselflies. Your photos are spectacular. Love the Blue pretty.
Nice that you and Meg are taking a class together. Love your design.
Congrats on three years.

Carol said...

Hurrah!!! Bravo!! Randy, These coppers are all fabulous! I do not know how you do it and some with a point shoot! Gorgeous! Happy Nearly Three years blogging. A true gift to all of your readers! Thanks for all of your help over the years. Many happy blogging days and years to come! How perfect that you should make stained glass art too.

Karen said...

Wonderful photos of the coppers, so much inspiration for your future stained glass projects!

You are off to a fantastic start, Randy. Are you going to use copper foil on this project or lead? Choosing glass is the hardest part, I obsess over it for hours before I finally settle. When Carl and I took our first stained glass class back in 1979, we couldn't afford a glass grinder, so Carl made one out of an old motor and topped it off with a diamond bit. We still use it, though we also went out and bought two commercial grinders now. Carl's homemade grinder has a lot of snot though...that thing won't bog down no matter what you do to it.

Can't wait to see your project finished. You're off to a great start!

Meeha Meeha said...

This is a wonderful collection! All the pics are gorgeous. As for the blue glass, just smash it many times in an enclosed tray with a tall edge. have fun!

L. Ambler said...

These butterfly photos are absolutely gorgeous. I don't know much about butterflies, but I'm learning from you.

Rebecca said...

What a great collection of photos!--I'll be using this post as a reference-thanks :)

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Beautiful photos. Butterflies are such a challenge!

Leoni said...

Hi, I have been searching for the name of a butterfly which was on a wallpaper I downloaded. I am rather obsessed with butterflies and create jewellery using their shapes and images. I am thrilled to say I have found a name for the butterfly in my wallpaper (Lycaena phlaeas) my picture shows it more purple but it could have been the light or even photoshopped. But at least I know it is not a ficticious butterfly but a stunning real one which is proved by your stunning butterfly photos. cheers

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