The next morning I decided to check out Woodlake Nature Center to see what wildlife I could photograph. I found some more early morning butterflies to shoot.
This least skipper was unusually cooperative which is good because I was photographing it with a 400mm lens. This means that I had to be about 4 to 5 feet away and had to use manual focus.
In this picture it is easy to see the proboscis inserted into the flower which the butterfly uses like a straw to drink nectar.
I also found a mourning cloak butterfly. Mourning cloaks have the longest life span of any butterfly in North America.
The mourning cloak is one of only a hand full of butterflies that overwinters in its adult butterfly form. When winter comes the mourning cloak will find a sheltered spot, somewhere like a crevice of a tree or building, where it will spend most of the winter in a state of suspended animation to conserve energy. To prevent their bodies from freezing the produce chemicals, such as sorbitol, which act as a natural antifreeze. When the weather begins to warm up the mourning cloaks come to life, as early as March some years in my area of the world. Shortly after, dependent on the weather, they will mate, lay eggs and then their life cycle will be complete after 10 to 11 months of life.