Today’s digging into the archives brought up a picture of this rare butterfly, a White-Letter Hairstreak, I was lucky enough to see last year.

I love the way the sticky-out bits on the edge of the lower wings make it look like it’s kicking its back legs in the air!

White-Letter Hairstreak Butterfly Brockholes

White-Letter Hairstreak Butterfly ©HelenBushe


Difficult to spot as it flies around the tops of trees, particularly Elms. It occasionally comes down to ground level to nectar on flowers, especially privet and bramble.

The species declined in the 1970s when its foodplants were reduced by Dutch Elm disease but it is recovering in a few areas in England and Wales (Butterfly Conservation)

I hope I can see another one this summer.


cwaugh212 · 19 May 2016 at 21:21

The pair of antennae are exquisite and they balance the “sticky-out bits” perfectly. Wonderful detail.

    HMB · 19 May 2016 at 21:23

    Thanks Charles . It was quite a find.

Judith · 19 May 2016 at 18:26

A beautifully vivid image of a species I’ve never been lucky enough to see.

    HMB · 19 May 2016 at 18:39

    Thanks Judith. I never thought I’d ever be lucky enough to see one. I’ll be going back to the same spot this year!

      Judith · 19 May 2016 at 20:43

      Do you know the book The Butterfly Isles by Patrick Barkham? It’s a lovely account of one man’s attempt to track down all the butterfly species in the British Isles.

        HMB · 19 May 2016 at 21:02

        No, I’d never heard of it before. But, thanks to you, it has just been downloaded on to my iPad. Many many thanks for taking time to tell me about it.

          Judith · 19 May 2016 at 21:05

          I hope you enjoy the read.

          HMB · 19 May 2016 at 21:13

Laurie Graves · 19 May 2016 at 14:49

What a beauty!

    HMB · 19 May 2016 at 15:01

    Thanks Laurie. Yes I was over the moon to see a rare one like this.

      Laurie Graves · 19 May 2016 at 15:02

      I know what you mean. I would have felt the same way had I manage to snap a picture of that fluttering beauty.

thegirlthatdreamsawake · 19 May 2016 at 07:15

the details in this photo is fantastic! may i ask which lens did you use?:)

    HMB · 19 May 2016 at 10:11

    Thanks for your nice comment. Once I knew that macro was more than a passing phase, I invested in. Canon L series EF 100mm f2.8 IS.
    It’s a TRUE MACRO giving 1:1 size images ( I.e. no cropping required.
    Before that I was getting good results from a Tamron Af 90mm also a true macro with image stabilisation. You can pick up a good used one for about £200. (The canon L is about £600).
    These are both really good PRIME lenses, with better optics than zoom lenses.
    They are also incredibly good for portraiture. So you’d get lovely pics of your kids as well.
    Prime lenses mean that you zoom in or away with your feet, rather than by twisting the barrel of the lens.
    It’s good to talk photography with a fellow enthusiast! Kindest regards, Helen

      thegirlthatdreamsawake · 19 May 2016 at 10:29

      thanks for this. i am still learning my way through lenses . i am using a canon efs 18-55mm but as you probably know is not great for macro photography . but i also have another lense which is a canon ultrasonic 75-300mm which might be better for macro? what do you think? i think i prefer zoom lenses to prime as gives me more options on what i can do with the same lense but any advice would be great 🙂

        HMB · 19 May 2016 at 10:41

        Prime lenses are always better optically. But they don’t have the versatility of a zoom. I started off with same equipment you have and it’s all good. You’ve got the bug so you’ll always be pushing yourself and your equipment for that “little bit better picture” NOT that it is the gear that matters most , IT IS THE PHOTOGRAPHER.

        My macro work involves sitting down beside a butterfly when it’s basking in the sun or feeding, and then I use pinpoint focus on its eye to get the results I want. I have the most tremendous fun doing this, but do realise that it’s not everyone’s cup of tea.
        I always say “Life’s not so bad when you have time to sit for a while eyeballing a butterfly” ( but then I’m retired!)

        My advice is : Always seek a wide range of advice, then do a lot of googling and make up your own mind.
        Enjoy your journey in Photography.

        Ps Apart from using Canon for macro , I now use a smaller MIRRORLESS Fuji x100s with fixed 23mm lens , or Fuji xPro1 with various lenses. Or my iPhone !!!!

I'm always pleased to read comments.....

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