The Weekly Photo Challenge – ‘Eye Spy’ – A Butterfly’s eye is a wonderful creation, their spherical compound eyes with almost 360 degree vision are able to detect threats from behind at the same time as focusing on nectar probing. Predators and camera wielding humans are all to be avoided. In common with many other insects, each eye comprises of up to 17,000 ommatidia – individual light receptors with their own microscopic lenses. Surrounding the eye and extending through the body are long hair like scales which give a furry appearance.
In late July and August our favourite spot to observe Chalk Hill Blues is Sharpenhoe Clappers, in the Chiltern Hills, managed by the National Trust, just a few miles from home. This species of Blue Butterfly is only found in the UK on southern Chalk Grassland Hills. The adults prefer a sunny sheltered south-facing spot for nectaring and roosting. Although this little Butterfly is not endangered, its habitat is diminishing. The caterpillars sole food plant is Horseshoe Vetch, only found growing on chalk grassland.
Sitting patiently waiting for Butterflies to land nearby and then staying to watch the sun go down with roosting Chalk Hill Blues alongside is quite a magical experience.
72 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge – Eye Spy a Butterfly’s Eye”
Remarkable macro captures!!
Thank you Amy, I really enjoy being able to look more closely with a camera lens as in life that’s not always possible. 🙂
Wow, have never realized their eyes are so large. Great captures.
Thank you, Butterfly eye size must have evolved to aid survival but all of the Blue Butterfly species seem to have noticeably larger eyes, that are quite characterful.
Thanks! Sharpenhoe Clappers is a great place for Butterfly spotting in the Summer months.
Interesting text and those are fabulous pix. How close were you?
Very close and propped up on my elbows, to stop any camera shake!
I’m smiling. What a picture.
Absolutely stunning photos!
Thank you, we took our dog (a patient labrador) along that day and he just sat in the sun watching Butterflies too!
These are absolutely gorgeous photos Julie! This is such a beautiful butterfly – thanks so much for this post.
Thanks Clare, we love this spot on the chalk downs, always something to see and enjoy.
Marvelous captures, Julie. They are truly fabulous beauties!
I’m constantly amazed at how intricate and detailed wildlife can be, these little Blues really are beautiful!
Love the backlighting! Perfect for the challenge …. Making eye contact with a butterfly! Lovely!
Thanks Janet, their eyes are extraordinary I wonder what we look like to them!
Oh! I wonder!!
These are wonderful close up pictures Julie, showing such detail.
What camera lens did you use?
Thanks Brian, the lens for this photo is a Canon 100mm macro recommended to me by Suzy Blue another blogger who takes lots of beautiful Dragonfly photographs. I have used that on propped up elbows to help with camera shake and cropped into the close up of the head and eye on my laptop, the detail of the scale like hairs was a surprise though, they are quite extraordinary creatures.
Stunning captures! Perhaps, the best macros I’ve seen in a while.
Thanks so much! 🙂
Wonderful. Looks cuddly when in macro!
I was surprised to learn the ‘fur’ is actually hair like scales, which does sound as cuddly as it looks!
Stunning photos, and what beautiful light.
As the sun came down that evening the light really was glorious, one of those all too rare summer days that leaves you feeling really happy!
And your photos are magical too Julie!
Thank you Cathy, I love those summer afternoons and evenings, so much more uplifting than winter early nights, although temperatures here are unseasonably warm again! Hope you have some good weather too.
Good captures, Julie!
Thank you Stefano 🙂
Julie, just to echo what everyone else has said beautiful and incredible photos, interesting info too, thanks, Frances
Thanks Frances, I have been watching the weather forecast and thinking of you, I hope you are bearing up with the high winds and rain.
Great captures of the butterfly. I find the blue butterflies particularly attractive and this one seems to be coyly posing for you. Amelia
I really like the Blues too. On our first visit there with the Wildlife Trust, someone much wiser than me advised to stay still and be patient, it was great advice and a far more relaxing!
Now I know why I can never sneak up on butterflies in my garden. Your photos are terrific Julie!
Exactly Susie! Stand still by nectar producing plants and let them come to you. 🙂
Stunning photos. 🙂
Thank you Judy, we are really fortunate to live close by to Sharpenhoe Clappers, in the summer months as well as Butterflies and Moths, there are some wonderful wildflowers and views from there too.
Wow, I’m really blow away by these beautiful photos. What a wonderful world we live in! Thanks for sharing this spectacular bit of nature that I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
Thanks Marian, we certainly do live in a wonderful world, amongst so much that is grim right now, nature can provide much needed beauty.
You’re such a talented lady, Julie, and your pics are always a joy to behold 🙂
Thats really very kind Annette and I really appreciate you saying that. 🙂
Thank you so much. 🙂
Stunning captures Julie!!!
Thank you kindly, glad you like them!
The details and color are amazing.
Nature is incredible, so much to see, even on our doorstep.
Sounds romantic. Picnic and wine perhaps? They are excellent pictures. The light in that last one is gorgeous. Well done.
That does sound good, as I recall there was a bottle of water and a polo mint. Next time though!
What great photos Julie – love the way you’ve caught the light behind them.
Thank you,those summer evenings when the light is just right are one of favourite times.
Incredible captures, Julie!! Just stunning!
Summer seems a while away now, but they were appropriate to share for that challenge. I missed The Transmutational Gardeners Butterfly Bucket meme during the summer months when my internet was down, I hope she runs another one next season.
wow wow wow These are brilliant photos. Brava!
Thanks Debra, although these habitats are diminishing we are very fortunate to still have the chance to watch these Butterflies closely. Long may that be the case!
Wow, amazing macro shots…Absolutely stunning work.
Thanks Charlie, glad you liked them! 🙂
This is just too brilliant for words.
We are very fortunate to live close by the Chalk hills of Sharpenhoe Clappers where there are several species of Butterfly and if patient they will land close by!
Thank you for this response. I know your talent had everything to do with the success of this capture. Have a great weekend.
Just discovered your blog; its lovely. I particularly like the post about the Holly Blue butterfly, as I have sewn a cushion cover for my dad using it as my design inspiration. Stunning photos!
Hi Lucy, your cushion cover sounds beautiful, what a lovely gift for your Dad as well. I hope you have a lovely week, best wishes, Julie
Incredible photos! And interesting info as well.
Thanks Jason, hoping you have some good December weather there!
Simply amazing the way you capture it!
We are lucky to live near a spot inhabited by these Chalk Hill Blue’s. But this week there has been a dreadful report here which says 3 quarters of all UK Butterflies are in decline. In common with lots of wildlife and habitat loss, our behaviour is the route cause.
Same here and probably everywhere else…We should know better.
Oh Julie these are masterpieces and deserving of awards…frame these and sell them!
So beautiful Julie !!!! Wauw top pictures
Thanks so much Nancy! 🙂