Deja Vu And The Secret Life Of The Commander

Posted: February 22, 2009 in butterflies, macro photography
Tags: , ,

The Old Tease

Came across a familiar teaser today.  While the other photographers ran in and out of the concrete outfit chasing it while it landed here, landed there, flew away, came right back, I had a ball yelling from my perch eating breakfast: "Left! Left! There there! Landed! Landed!"

Then when it landed on a leaf near me, I realised it was the same frustrating butterfly with the bent wing and flight pattern.  At least I thought so… until another Commander turned up.

The Commander Catwalk

The Commander as usual gave the other photographers a good bit of fun.  But they were not willing to go bush whacking into the brush.  So I went crashing in instead to see if I could get a better shot. I crashed in till I couldn't make any further headway and then was surprised to see the usually skittish Commander walk around nonchalently on a leaf in front of me.








It turned around several times on the same leaf just in front of my lens and paused and turned and paused and turn.  Certainly doesn't feel like the same skittle encountered some weeks back.

Once In A Lifetime

I thought I should maybe yell to the other photographers.  But then I thought… Naaaahhh… just going to lean against this blockade of huge fronds and enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime show.







My Most Mis-identified Butterfly

I am 99% positive this is the Dash Dot Sergeant after comparing cell spots.  The one ranked butterfly I often dreamt about encountering one day.  But if I'm wrong… DANG IT!

Want What You Can't Have

If a butterfly rests with its wings up, you want topside.  If it rests with its wings down, you want underside.  Photographers are never satisfied.  So I flashed the cruiser (photosensitive even in bright sunlight) multiple times till I got a shot with its armpits showing.  Meanwhile, check out Mr Candy Cane Legs (whie butterfly in the middle below)… I've not seen this fella for a looonng looonnng time … but I don't miss it.  So I guess the rule is not always true.










Go Early… I Promise

I had to convince the other photographers to get their sleepy heads out of bed early this morning so that we could catch normally high energy butterflies (they become high energy rockets around 10, 11) roosting/sleeping on the leaves… which is tons better than drunk on the cement outfit.

My advice paid off… for myself only.  Because the other photographers decided to head straight for the cement outfit.  Above is a fresh specimen of blues… something I'd been dreaming of capturing after I captured a tatty faded one the last time.










Finally… The Autumn Leaf Shows Its Armpits

I've never gotten as good a shot of the Autumn Leaf as this one.  And I hadn't realised it was there until it moved and opened up its bright orange topside.  Below, I got down on the dirty ground and invested my elbows in getting a better photo of the blue jay.  Check out the ant checking out the butterfly.

Visit To Land Of Possibilities

I'd been wanting to revisit a place that I'd only managed to spend about half an hour before it poured.  This time I brought my friend who was moving to Australia to see the place before it changes/disappears/who knows what will happen to it in the future.

It yielded a chance to photograph a very common common posy (with an egg!?!??!! It's egg!?!?) and an unidentified Malay Baron like looking strong flyer butterfly.

Nobody seems to be able to ID it yet…

A Roller Coaster Week

This HUGE HUUUUGGEEE dragonfly flew in from nowhere and grabbed a nearby common dragonfly to eat just after it looked like it was ovipositing on the stagnant water!!!
















This week…

1) Money Matters: I nearly lost $800.  And my plan to shoot Indonesian butterflies have all but flown away.   

2) Car Accidents: I was in a minor car accident when the taxi taking me and the other photographers rammed into a car in front of it.  Later we came across two more car accidents and my Dad witnessed a bus at our nearby interchange hitting a car.

Note on photo: What are the odds of capturing a damselfly with its mouth open??? :D:D:D

3) DANG IT: Something flew into my eye today on the way back today and my eye still hurts.

Feb 21 unid damselflyFeb 21 female Euphaea Impar eating grub dorsal 2Feb 21 female Euphaea Impar  damselfly genitaliaFeb 21 female Euphaea Impar  synthorax side shot

4) Close Shave: A foreigner waited for me in the bushes at the park near my house after I'd tried to shake him off by turning back and heading for the main road so that he would think that I was crossing the road and stop following me.  But I had to walk home and when I turned back later to head to my building, he was standing in the bushes waiting and smiling.  Thanks to an elderly couple who happened to pass by, he didn't chase me when I started running to my building

5) Peer Pressure: I was angry and decided not to hang out with my lesbian friends anymore who insist that I must be a lesbian because I like the great outdoors, and don't look like a Taiwanese saccharine sweet pop princess.  Oh so then straight women can never take up sports, must be afraid of the sun and must always talk in a high pitched voice and wear frilly lacey clothes??  That's utter NONSENSE.  I'm not going to change what I am regardless of how many lesbian women think I should turn lesbian.  I like men and that's the end of the story.  I never ostracised them for being what they are and I never insisted that they should be UN-lesbian, so I'm not going to accept this kind of treatment from them too.  If that means less buddies to hang out with, SO BE IT.

6) Some Revelations: I realised that even male photographers are not exempt from being attacked while shooting alone after discussing this issue with fellow photographers.  Why must the world suck so much?

7) Unhelpful Advice: My friend's fiancee, who is an adventure racer and a mutual friend of my little group of non-active, non-outdoorsy friends, thought it was a joke when I said I needed to think of ways to defend myself in event I was attacked in remote locations.  He told me to throw sardine cans at my assailant. When I told him about the recent rape and murder case, he shook his head and laughed: "All this for butterflies!?"  I hope he won't treat my friend's safety that lightly.


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  1. Stunning shots. Simply stunning.

  2. I'm speechless, Ellen. You really outdid yourself with those photos. Here are some of the most beautiful shots, I've ever seen from you.It sounds like a tough week to go through. I am so glad, nothing worse happened with the accident and that foreign guy! But my god, you've got such a huge talent for photography – honestly, I was holding my breath scrolling down photo after photo. Sheer beauty. You're the best!!!! I hope, you are very proud of yourself and I hope, your gift fills you with a lot of happiness.

  3. a.peeples says:

    Beautiful shots, beautiful butterflys

  4. Emjay says:

    Great photos. Scary about the person following you – do you think he meant to do you harm or just wanted to chat you up?

  5. Well if he wanted to chat me up, he certainly chose the wrong place wrong time (dark street, hiding in bushes, wee hours of the morning, etc). Probably would have gotten a kick to the balls instead of my number 😛

  6. Thanks Jillie! I hope you're putting up fine 🙂

  7. Emjay says:

    Well I am very glad that nothing "evil" happened! It is a nasty feeling to think that someone is following or targeting you.

  8. Sorry, Ellen, I'm ready to negotiate with many things, but I am adamant, when it comes to your huge talent!

  9. yeah… me too… can't live with that kind of fear… sigh..

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