“Never say Never”?…Photographically Capturing the Face of California’s State Butterfly

Male California Dogface

Male California Dogface

I have been dogged again, trying to clearly photograph the hounds hidden upon the inner wings of California’s State Butterfly. Typically, I consider myself an optimistic person, often voicing such mantras as “never say never” and “anything’s possible if you try”, however, in the case of the California Dogface (Colias eurydice), I am beginning to wonder if these pollyannaish words of wisdom can hold true?

Female California Dogface on Gravel Ghost

Female California Dogface on Gravel Ghost

Dainty pink hues color the edge of the female California Dogface. Unlike her male counter-part, she is otherwise predominately soft yellow in tone, a sweet and feminine beauty who is not at all concerned with her namesake.

Two Male California Dogfaces

Two Male California Dogfaces

Flashes of orange-yellow & black flicker by as male California Dogfaces flutter about. Use caution, when trying to glimpse the canine imagery which Mother Nature has dabbed upon their wings, for, I myself, have been burnt many times trying to photograph these elusive dancing flames.

Male California Dogface on Coyote Mint

Male California Dogface on Coyote Mint

Butterflies within the Sulphur family, such as Dogfaces, are known to perch only briefly and always with their wings closed. This, along with the fact that their flight is most often quick and erratic, creates quite a challenge for anyone who wishes to naturally photograph the interior surfaces of these lovely and intriguing creatures.

Female California Dogface

Female California Dogface

Naturalist, conservationist and former President, Theodore Roosevelt said “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again”. Despite my many failed attempts, think I will follow his advice and keep on trying to capture a sharp image of the blue-eyed pooches who hide-out upon the Dogface’s wings. “Never say Never”… right!  I’ll keep you posted. – K. D’Angelo

Male California Dogface on Bladderpod

Male California Dogface on Bladderpod

For more information on the California Dogface go to:

Obsession With Butterflies information for the California Dogface

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One Response to “Never say Never”?…Photographically Capturing the Face of California’s State Butterfly
  1. jill
    August 20, 2009 | 3:44 pm

    How funny…I always thought the “dog face” part was a description of the face of the butterfly, not the wings!

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