Here's one more from my vacation to ECCO. The Common Buckeye. I wonder how the animal feels about having the word "Common" in its name. Humans are by far the most common primate. What if we were called "The Common Human"? Well, I'm glad the Buckeye is common. It's really pretty. The markings on the upper wing surfaces are quite striking. If they weren't so common, they'd probably be considered one of the most beautiful butterflies in the US.
Funny how that works, huh? We get so used to seeing a particular animal that we take it for granted. Think about pigeons, ducks, and crows. Rather attractive birds, all of them, but they're so common that we usually just consider them a nuisance. When I was in Australia I saw trees full of cockatoos, and people would tell me, "They're like rats, they're everywhere." But here in the states, pet shops sell them for upwards of $1000. It's no wonder that the illegal bird trade is the second largest black-market in the world.
Anyway, back to our common friend here...
This photo was taken approximately four feet from that Widow Skimmer from earlier. This was one of those patience shots, where I stood in the same spot for about half an hour (in muggy 90°F weather) and shot whatever was kind enough to land. A good idea when doing that is to surround yourself with native flowers so your photo has a colorful backdrop, as well as something to keep the critters busy for a couple seconds while you shoot away. The bright yellow daisies made a nice contrast to the brown and orange of the butterfly, don't you think?