One should think that Butterfly photography is, though beautiful, nothing that can get your adrenalin flowing. While that holds true almost anytime, there are these moments… Finding a rare species for example does invoke your hunter's instincts. But what if you run into something, that you never saw before? As an avid Butterfly Photographer I'm out at any possible occasion and with the time you pretty well know, what to expect – when and where – so to be completely surprised is rare. But it happened to me this Sunday, when I was out, hoping to get some good in flight shots of Swallowtails. While scouring the brush, where they usually emerge, I saw something unusual, immediately getting my full attention. A bright red, that I haven't encountered anywhere before. Combined with black this butterfly was dancing around like a flame in the brush – unfortunately way to far off for me to reach. A little bit frustrated I decided to re-check a while later and continued on my path, scouting the current hotspots. An hour later then – at the same place – I at least got close enough to get two shots off. (Gallery names "1st encounter") Ending my day – still not having been close enough for really good and detailed shots I went home. Pretty sure to easily find out what the heck this butterfly was – I came up empty in my fieldguide, same on my favorite ID sites Butterflyandmoths and BugGuide. So I posted the images I have as ID Request on Bugguide. And sure enough, little time later I got responses – but both Herschel and Nina turned up empty on their ID Quest. Herschel later on did come up with an semi ID as it being a Gulf Fritillary View Species info in a new window, based on three distinctive White spots on the wings of my capture, that exactly corresponds with those on a Gulf Fritillary. So – it is either a rare or even unknown variant of the Gulf Fritillary – or it's an Anomaly. In any case quite an extraordinary find. Monday I had a shoot in Orlando – so I couldn't re-visit the spot, but this morning I went back, lurked around the spot for over an hour with no avail. So I decided to go on and re-visit spots I hadn't checked for a while – and there it was. While unable to get an open wing shot I got some nice captures of the underside. And then the chase began, through brushes, spiderwebs, thistles and after an hour I was getting close again. No dice again with an Openwing photo – but the butterfly was obviously tired, too, having considerable slowed down – and letting me come close and even circling me. And then I took a chance and grabbed him right out of the air, being as careful as humanly possible. Back at the bench, where I had left my backback, I placed him in one of the plastic bags, that I always carry with me, to pick up trash like bottles and wrappers, that some Retards didn't have the energy to carry back to the next trashbin. So equipped I hurried back, made a quick stop at a store to get a plastic container, where I placed the butterfly, after using a knife to make some holes in the lid. The next steps I learned about from a website – a guy who scanned living dragonflies and produced astonishing images. While I placed the butterfly in the fridge I prepped the scanner by using 2 inch high blocks around a center, where I was to place the "object". After a couple of minutes the bfly was quite immobile so it was quite easy to place him on the scanner, make a run, turn him around for the second, and then place him back in the container. While I was aware, that the scans certainly would not be as good as they could be made, and I never did this before, I didn't wanted to expose the Butterfly to this procedure more then once – so I left it at that, hoping for the best. After another 5 minutes in the fridge the time was come to release my "captive" again in the backyard. Which is quite a good choice for the release, since it's being frequented by Gulf Fritillaries and a big bush of Lanatana will provide nourishment. So placing the Butterfly finally in the midst of the lawn on a warm stone, the sun shining it took my "victim" a little while to get his Mojo back – and after a while he then took off – probably pretty pissed off – but alive and kicking! So – that's how an ordinary Butterfly shoot turns exciting! Now – If against all odds this bird is unique and a new subspecies and I was to be awarded the right to name it – this species should be named Gulf Fritillary Malaniz – a little nod to a friend who very untimely passed away this year.[Gallery not found]

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