Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Sleepy orange

with 23 comments

Sleepy Orange Sulphur Butterfly on Grass 5434

This one did seem sleepy, letting me get and stay close for a long time as I took lots of pictures. Entomologists call the sleepy orange* sulphur butterfly Eurema nicippe. You could drop three letters from that species name and it would still be nice. If you also dropped the n you’d be regressing to winter, so don’t do it.

The date was April 1st, the place the right-of-way beneath the power lines that cross the southern portion of my Great Hills neighborhood.


* Most of the orange is on the inner surfaces of the folded wings, where you can’t see it in this pose. I expect the intense yellow will be prize enough for your eyes.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 30, 2013 at 6:20 AM

23 Responses

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  1. A very good portrait of this one, Steven.


    April 30, 2013 at 6:47 AM

  2. One word to describe this one – perfection!! 🙂


    April 30, 2013 at 6:48 AM

  3. Clarity on this is incredible. We’re you really in the wild?!?!

    Tina Schell

    April 30, 2013 at 6:50 AM

  4. What a delightful capture–well done.


    April 30, 2013 at 8:43 AM

  5. What a brilliant shot! I wish I had such luck with my butterflies! Well done 🙂


    April 30, 2013 at 10:13 AM

    • This butterfly made it easy by holding still for a long time. I’ve missed my share of butterfly pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 30, 2013 at 4:06 PM

  6. A great photograph. We have a common clouded yellow (Colias crocea) around here but it never lets me near enough to get a good shot.


    April 30, 2013 at 10:59 AM

    • I’ve heard that early morning is a good time because butterflies can’t fly till they they warm up. To take advantage of that, we’d have to get up early to go out and take pictures, something that may require extra effort. I’ll keep taking my chances a little later in the morning.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 30, 2013 at 4:11 PM

      • That’s a good tip, I tend to walk in the afternoon. I expect I’d see different things in the morning, especially in the summer time.


        May 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM

  7. Beautiful – love the Sunny Yellow Color too:)


    April 30, 2013 at 11:02 AM

  8. Apparently there’s something especially orange-inducing in the air today–my post, though food-related, features orange as well. As I was reading your note above here, I immediately leapt to deleting three letters from the starred word rather than from the entomological name of the creature, but that worked nicely too, leaving this little guy described as ‘ora’, and it does indeed have a sort of prayerful repose. A day of quirky bits of synchronicity, or at least serendipity. What a pretty insect.


    April 30, 2013 at 1:52 PM

    • How nice—there’s that word again—that you serendipitously got to the Latin word for ‘pray.’ Whether that’s what the butterfly did, I don’t know, but it certainly shone in the sunlight.

      Steve Schwartzman

      April 30, 2013 at 4:19 PM

  9. Is our little friend missing an antenna? Or is it cocked off to the side and not visible? If there’s only one antenna, it may be sleepy, or it may be recovering from some unnamed trauma. A beautiful capture, for sure. I get such a kick out of being able to see such detail on these creatures.


    May 1, 2013 at 6:50 AM

    • Like an eclipse, this is a rare alignment in which one antenna blocks the view of the other almost entirely. Only at the tip, on the left side, can you see a curving sliver of the knob behind the one in the foreground. I hadn’t noticed till you asked your question. As for details, in a larger version of this photograph each minuscule scale on the wing is visible. It’s a reality that the unaided human eye doesn’t get to see.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2013 at 7:18 AM

  10. Oh so pretty. Those sulfurs really are skittish. I was able to get one early spring. Have not seen any sulfurs since that time.


    May 1, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    • You’re right that these butterflies usually are skittish, and that’s why I was happy that this one stayed put. I’m still seeing sulphur butterflies around Austin.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 1, 2013 at 6:03 PM

  11. Prize enough indeed! I always look forward to a quiet sit-down to catch up on all the wildflowers and companions you’ve posted here.

    Susan Scheid

    May 4, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    • And I always look forward to a quiet sit-down alongside some plant or companion (or both) so I can try to take pictures. In this case the butterfly was much more cooperative than usual, so I got multiple prizes in the form of photographs from various angles.

      Steve Schwartzman

      May 4, 2013 at 11:49 AM

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