08 September 2011

Contest - Photos of butterflies, moths and skippers

Benefit Photo Contest - Photos of local butterflies, skippers or moths taken within 60-miles of Muskogee.
- Submit by September 20, 2011
- $5.00 per entry. No limit on number of entries.
- Proceeds benefit Friends of Honor Heights Park
- Mail photo on CD to 4211 High Oaks, Muskogee 74401 or email entry to photo@friendsofhhp.com with the subject line “2011 Butterflies of Muskogee Photo Contest”.

- Information 866drjsmiles@gmail.com




There are many more moth species than butterflies, but butterflies capture the attention of more camera buffs. Butterflies and skippers are about 10% of the Lepidoptera species, and moths make up the other 90%.

Many moths are just as beautiful as butterflies, so why are butterflies more commonly seen in nature photos? One reason is that moths are active mostly at night and butterflies tend to fly during the day so they are easier to photograph.

In the last few years, butterflies, skippers and moths have come to the attention of conservation efforts, including the Federal Endangered Species Act. One part of those conservation efforts includes the construction of butterfly houses around the world and a wide variety of education programs. For example, raising butterflies in elementary school classrooms is a widely accepted method of teaching science.

The members of Muskogee’s Friends of Honor Heights Park have worked for four years to raise money to build a teaching garden and butterfly sanctuary at the park both as an educational facility and a tourism attraction.

Their efforts have paid off and reaching the fundraising goal is in sight.

This month, they are sponsoring a photo contest. The entrance fee is $5.00 per photo with no limit on the number of entries. The photos will be judged based on overall quality and originality. There will be two categories of winners: Adult and Youth.

The best entries will be announced at a Friends of Honor Heights Park event on Sept 27. Then, the photos will be displayed and sold in the park gift shop, with proceeds going to Friends of HHP. The photographer’s names will accompany the photos.

The contest is open to everyone, professional or amateur, using any brand or type of camera and lens.

All the photos submitted have to be taken by the photographer named and have to be free of copyright. Contestants will retain the rights to their photos for future use, but Friends of HHP and the City of Muskogee will have unlimited rights to use the photos in materials.

Deadline to enter is September 20.

To enter the contest costs $5 per entry. Mail the entry fee to 4211 High Oaks, Muskogee 74401. To submit photos, mail a CD with your entry fees or email jpg files to photo@friendsofhhp.com with the subject line “2011 Butterflies of Muskogee Photo Contest”

Be sure to include photographer’s name, address, telephone, and email, location of shot, and Adult (18 or older) or Youth (under 18).

Patience is essential to photographing butterflies. Since they need the warmth of the sun to fly, they move around quickly from flower to flower when it is sunny. When the light is softer in the morning or evening, or when the day is a little cloudy, they are more likely to sit on a flower. Around noon, they take cover from the direct sun.

Butterflies, skippers and moths can be found on flowers most of the time. However, many butterflies eat tree sap rather than flower pollen so expand your search based on their dining habits.

Move toward them slowly so they do not fly away. Notice where your shadow is falling since they naturally protect themselves from predators’ shadows.

Butterflies can smell the nectar of flowers and will move away from perfume, insect repellant and other unnatural scents.

Moths are easier to photograph when you see them since they are usually docile during daylight hours.

Take lots of shots, moving around the subject carefully. Use a magnifying lens so you can take the photo from a safe distance.

More information: David Jones, 866drjsmiles@gmail.com. Good luck!

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