Saturday, August 7, 2010

BUTTERFLIES (I THINK!)

Cabbage White on leaf near the cottage.
Posts from the riverbank have lately been sparse. I blame it mostly on my ongoing contact lens issues, which still have not been resolved, though I've had several follow-up visits to the optometrist. New lenses—an entirely new prescription, design, and fitting, in fact—were ordered a week ago yesterday, and should have been in Wednesday, but failed to appear. They'll likely arrive this week and we'll begin round two.
I believe this an Orange Sulphur.
In the meantime, impaired vision makes good photography problematic, which is putting it mildly. Auto-focus stuff comes out okay, but a lot of the close-up work I so enjoy now depends on luck and numbers more than eye and skill. The other day I shot 78 images of the same grasshopper on a bluestem shaft and threw them all away once I uploaded the files to the computer and took a look. Not a single one was in focus. (Of course, one of those tossed shots might actually have been in acceptable focus, except I can't really see well enough to tell if the call is marginal—even on a 21 inch screen.)
A hairstreak, I think…but which one?
I know…I've whined about this before. But I'm frustrated and miss being able to see.
These recent butterfly shots may or may not be in pristine focus—but I like them and gave 'em a passing mark. They also may well be misidentified—only in part because of the handicapped eyesight. The truth is, my butterfly I.D.-ing skills are poor. I can usually fake my way with a good field guide and sufficient images (or a specimen in hand), presuming I can see whatever distinguishing features. So I'm now facing both technical ability and plain old incompetence.
One of the coppers?
Feel perfectly free to comment with a correction or any additional information. I won't be in the lest offended, and will welcome the feedback. I'd also like to hear recommendations on a favorite butterfly book or field guide; all I have currently is one put out by the Audubon Society: Field Guide to North American Butterflies.
———————

24 comments:

Rowan said...

I hope your contact lens miseries are sorted out soon. I'm used to not seeing all that well, have never been able to wear contacts comfortably because of severe astygmatism. A good many of my photos are out of focus because often I can't really tell until I get them on the computer screen.
I wouldn't dream of questioning your identifications as my butterfly identification skills are very minimal indeed, I can name five with absolute confidence and after that I'm struggling!

Gail said...

HEY GRIZZ-

Me, correct you, about anything nature? Blureed vision or otherwise - You jest I am sure. :-)

I just got a new binocular/camera - brings things right up close, so close that I can't focus well, yet. I will play around with it as soon as i am able to navigate a bit better. Also, there is software for hte computer that needs to be downloaded. phew.

I hope your new contacts arrive soon and your world is crystal clear again.

Love to you
Gail
peace and hope......

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rowan…

Thank you—I hope these new lenses at least work better than the initial pair. I'd like to feel half as confident as the optometrist that great vision via progressives is possible. Otherwise, I just want to resort to my original solution which WILL work. What hacks me off is that I got talked into that old corollary of Murphy's Law: "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Don't slight your butterfly identification skills…I'm sitting here thinking, and I'm frankly not sure I could name even five species positively.

Penny said...

I know how frustrating it all can be and I hope they are soon rectified.
Only one of my eyes works the other does a reasonable job but I have a strange focal lenght due to a vaguely fixed hole in the macula.
I dont mind what your butterflies are and cant help from here in Oz but they are beautiful, well except the cabbage white, we have them here and they, or their offspring are a pain.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Hey, me, too re. contacts.

I'm tellin' ya, I can no more name butterflies than I can breeds of cows. The black-and-white spotted ones are Holsteins, right? (I DO KNOW the big ugly ones with a hump or their back and blood in their eyes, which used to regularly toss me into the air, slam me into the ground, and then try and stomp me into hamburger, were Brahmans! In fact, maybe they're why I don't know butterfly names. There were plenty of encounters with them ol' cows that left me not sure of my own name.)

George said...

Sorry, Grizz, to learn that your vision continues to be a problem while you work your way through the corrective lens process. I must tell you, however, that the butterfly photos are a delight. Autofocus or not, it's always wonderful to lay your eyes on a close-up shot of nature's small creatures. Thanks for a lovely set of photos, and best of luck in the coming days with your optometrist.

Rusty said...

Grin... Thank goodness for autofocus. With a little luck I may get one out of about every 20 or so shots that has - well, almost sharp! I love my D-70 - but it has to have the worst viewfinder of any DSLR. I love your sharp - very sharp results and kow you work very hard to get them. ATB!

giggles said...

The pics are beautiful, sight-impaired or not.... Not an expert either, so I'll just enjoy looking at 'em. Nice job!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

George…

I'm doubtless making too much fuss about my messed-up vision. And I know it will eventually get worked out as I can always fall back to single-vision contacts with readers for close-up. It's frankly just the time I'll never recover that bothers me most…as we're all alloted only so many turns around the circular seasonal pathway, and I don't want to miss a minute of my journey.

Thank you for you kind remarks.…

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ

how we got from butterflies to cows is fascinating. :-), which I must ask - have you ever been "cow-tipping"???

and I don't know a heffer from a holstein although I do have a cow, registered in upstate NY in my name - long story as to why but it is true. who knew, huh? so much we don't know about one another. heehee

love to you
Gail
peace hope and cows

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Penny…

I can appreciate your gardener's view of the Cabbage White. With luck, I'll have this contact business settled in a month or so. (I hope!)

I'm glad you enjoyed the photos…and you're right, you don't have to be able to put an exact name to things to recognize and appreciate their beauty.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Rusty…

In all honesty, I've not shot enough (as in practically not at all!) with other models and brands of DSLRs to know enough to dislike my D-70's viewfinder. But I've always shot Nikon SLRs, usually the F-Series, and it certainly doesn't compare. But…I have no real complaints with the D-70, either. I'd like to have something better one of these days, though.

I used to know one of National Geographic's top photographers. For a typical article spread, maybe 35 photos in the magazine, he would shoot as many as 10,000 exposures. Of course many were simply slight variations on angle and lighting of a scene or subject—and technically bad photos were seldom more than a single-digit percentage in the count—but still, by comparison your 1/20 ratio is fine. I regularly shoot 200 or so exposure in a morning afield; throw out 50 for technical issues (bad exposure, bad focus, too slow a shutter speed, too little or much depth of field, etc.), and end up with maybe 25 keepers and file the rest away in the back-up ignominy of the 1-terabyte hard drive.

In spite of the technology, you still have to work for good photos. I'm just thankful it's now on digital files and not film!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Giggles…

Thank you—always. Like I said, I don't know for sure whether or not these images are even truly sharp…but I liked their sort of environmental setting/mood and used 'em. Glad you like them, too. Names are not really necessary, though I'd like to know.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

It's always the turns in the trail that keep life interesting, don't you think?

God, I'm almost afraid to ask—mostly because I'm afraid I already know and have done it way back there in my checkered past—what is "cow tipping?"

My personal experience with cows—other than milkshakes and steaks on the grill—comes from trying to sit atop them for 8 interminably long and frantically traumatic seconds…and the pain that accompanied such brief engagements regardless of the time or success of the encounter. I've never had a cow named for me, but I've often screamed what I considered appropriate names at them, given the circumstances of our inevitable parting. Unfortunately, it's hard to embarrass most cows.

BTW, I think your new camera/binoc gizmo sounds neat.

Tramp said...

I love to see butterflies, I get this feeling of being so privileged to watch them and they can really lift my mood. After so much rain this past week the sun has finally come out this morning so I hope to see some.
However I won't be able to get photos of them like you have. I'll continue to pop over here for those.
Tell you what, though, if any cows get into the garden I'll get a shot of them and let you and Gail debate their pedigree.
Have a good Sunday ...Tramp

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Tramp…

I'm not trying to speak for Gail, but I believe I can safely say that when it comes to cow pedigrees, neither of us have a clue. All we know is that if it says "moooo" it's probably a cow.

What always amazes me about butterflies is how strong as fliers they are. You'd think the least little breeze, a mere zephyr, would keep them pinned down or dash them about with no mercy. But that's just not the case—and you see them struggling and struggling against rather hefty gusts and winds, and with success, too. They are just amazing creatures, living metaphors for us all, and beautiful beyond description.

I hope you find your butterflies this weekend.

Gail said...

HI GRIZZ-

Well, I lived in upstate NY for a year or so some years back. One of the past times of the local kids was to "cow-tip", apparently cows are very easy to push or 'tip' over - so if you push them or "tip them' they fall. Awful sport. awful. And your cow-riding day dang near kilt ya!! That's my best cow-talk' heehee......

Love you
Gail
peace and hope and.....
.ride 'm' cowboy eehah!!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Gail…

Yeah, that was kinda what I figured cow-tipping was, and would indeed be awful on the bovine tippees.

Trust me, there's not a morning of my life when I'm attempting to render myself vertical that I don't reflect on my foolish communing with cows.

Jain said...

Scribe, to answer the question in your title, they are, indeed, butterflies, and quite nice photos!

Lately, I've had to go back to my eye doc two or three times to get my spec prescription just right, it's so frustrating. "No!" I say, "the new glasses should work BETTER than the old ones!" I wish you well with your new lenses.

Joy K. said...

I'm sad for you that you're still in seeing the world all fuzzy. I hope lenses that actually DO something arrive soon.

Your hairstreak picture is lovely--he appears to be just about to take a death-defying leap off the vine.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Jain…

Thanks for reassuring me re. the title. :-)

We have the same attitude when it comes to new lenses—the new ones ought to be at least as good as the old ones, which were the reason you wanted new ones…otherwise, you;d have stuck with the old ones. Right?

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Joy K…

Hey, who knows what a hairstreak is contemplating? (Actually, I hadn't looked to see where the butterfly was looking in the shot—or maybe I did but just missed that detail. I'm missing a lot of details at the moment.)

I hope the new lenses are in this week and do a much better job of sharpening my vision.

Sarah Knight said...

Wow, those are lovely photos!

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Sarah…

Thank you. I'm glad you like 'em. I've been having vision issues lately trying to get fitted into a different sort of contact lens, so my ability to focus is badly compromised—but these looked okay.

Hope you visit often. You're always welcome.