I don’t often see butterflies in my current home location (compared to the dozens I saw when I lived near the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne pre-2015) and walked around the lovely 55-hectare site regularly.

On the 10th December, when my desk was still next to the lounge window, I glanced sideways and spotted an Australian Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa itea) on the outdoor power switch unit.

I slowly rose out of my desk chair, grabbed a short telephoto lens (17-50mm attached to a Canon DSLR body), and went outdoors to capture a photo before it flew away.

It was a lovely insect and didn’t seem to have any wing damage as is often the case captured in past photography opportunities.


I tried to get a little closer and better focus but the butterfly must have felt threatened as it closed its wings rather abruptly.

It stayed that way for a few more minutes and then flew to the opaque balcony dividing fence……

…..and then flew away.

For those of you who see butterflies all the time, this short photo opportunity may not seem so exciting, but for me, who rarely sees more than a cabbage moth butterfly around my potted plants, this was a rather thrilling experience.

My usual ‘bird on my balcony’, where I have to work hard in a very short time at capturing a fast-moving small bird, is sometimes more work than fun.  This was definitely fun!