You're probably wondering what a butterfly has to do with a rodeo? Well, last Sunday we went to the Houston Rodeo and as we walked around the carnival area I was wonderfully surprised to find a butterfly house!! I mean, I was giddy like a kid in a candy store. My heart fluttered with excitement as we walked in the netted enclosure and I thought maybe, just maybe I might even break out into a song. But as I turned around I found my two kids horrified at the thought of a butterfly landing on them and they were already begging me to leave. Could these really be my children?
As much as I love nature I have to say it was a bit unsettling to see some of the butterflies with such battered and torn wings. I found myself picking them up and putting them out of harms way since they couldn't get there themselves. I was very glad it was the last day and they would soon be set free. . .
Nature is inspiring and soothes my soul. Not only do I love to photograph it, but I love learning about my subjects as well. This one is a Blue Morpho Butterfly and although it looks blue it really isn't. The iridescent blue color you see here is caused by the microstructure of the scales on the wings that actually reflect blue light rather than being pigmented by melanin.
"Joy in looking and comprehending is nature's most beautiful gift" - Albert Einstein
It wasn't long before they were landing right on me. I even had one riding around on my shoe the entire time I was there. This is also a Blue Morpho showing the underside of its wings which helps it hide from predators.
They just kept on coming and I kept on smiling and taking pictures. It's a bit hard to keep steady when you're shooting with one hand, especially a close-up.
And then there were some that were just too busy for mingling.
Both the above and below picture is a Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly.
I just love this one! You can see his proboscis still curled up and not tucked away yet after feeding on some nectar. Something I didn't know is that they use their feet for their sense of taste which only works on contact. They can use this to determine whether their offspring will be able to feed on a leaf before they lay eggs on it. Nature is indeed fascinating!!
And then for one of my favorite foods at the rodeo, a TEXAS sized smoked turkey leg! Mmmmm
Followed by my second favorite, Funnel Cake!
This is always a fun ride to photograph.
For this shot I really had to bump the ISO which causes graininess in the photo. I was working in very little light where I was sitting. This was the best shot I could get for the rodeo.
The following pictures aren't the greatest, but I was happy to get them considering how far away we were. This next shot gives you an idea of how far we really were from the stage and the rodeo.
We saw Miranda Lambert right after the Rodeo. It takes them about 30 minutes after the rodeo to bring in the stage and get it all set up. It was a fantastic concert! The stage rotates so everyone gets a chance to see them.
And when the stage is faced the other way, you can still view everything from the huge overhead screens.
I'm already excited to find out who will be coming next year! And I'm already missing my giant turkey legs.
Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!