<< Previous Next >>

Silver Thistle.

Silver Thistle.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-08-26
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2009-02-07 15:57
Viewed: 4320
Points: 50
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Silver Thistle.

Late summer in the mountains of Southern Tyrol (Alto Adige). In the dry valley of Val Venosta (Vintschgau) most meadowns are brown, and most flowers gone. With a few exceptions:

The Silver thistle.

Carlina acaulis (Linnaeus, 1753)

Family: Asteraceae
Tribe: Cynareae
Genus: Carlina

“... a perennial dicotyledonous flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to alpine regions of central and southern Europe. The common names are descriptive of the manner that its flower head rests directly upon a basal leaf rosette. The spiny, pinnatilobate leaves grow in a basal rosette approximately 20 cm in diameter. The flowers are produced in a large (up to 10 cm) flowerhead of silvery-white ray florets around a central disc. To protect the pollen, the head closes in wet weather, a phenomenon folklore holds to presage forthcoming rain. The flowering time is between August and September.“ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carlina_acaulis

Silver thistles are an attractive source of nectar to butterflies that are still around in good numbers at that time of the year - even at weather conditions with temperatures below freezing point almost every night at those elevations:

Erebia tyndarus.*)

Erebia tyndarus (Esper, 1781)
Swiss Brassy Ringlet
Grünschillernder Mohrenfalter
Zwitserse galserebia
Erebia Metálica Suiza
Moiré cuivré

Wing span 34 – 36 mm.

The Swiss Brassy Ringlet is reported from Mont Blanc through the central alpine range of Switzerland to the Austrian Oetztal, and Ortler in Italy. Brenner is the eastern border of its area of distribution.

Young males show a strong greenish metallic iridescence. Blank upper sides of hindwings without eyespots seem to be a good indicator to tell E. tyndarus from the others of the closely related group of brassy ringlets, but an even better indicator seems to be the small and sometimes even disappearing pair of eyespots on the upperside of upper wings.

The species can be met on alpine meadows at elevations from 1800m to 3000m.

Butterflies are on their wings in one extended generation from July to September. Caterpillars feed on grass: Festuca ovina, Nardus stricta.

The Location:

Stony mountain meadows between Trafoi and Passo di Stelvio, at an elevation of 2600 meters a.s.l., facing the ice covered peaks of Ortler group. To see the location, please click

> here.


L.G. Higgins, N.D. Riley, W. Forster (bearb.): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Hamburg und Berlin 1978²

T. Tolman, R. Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Stuttgart 1998.

Chris Jonko: European Butterflies.

Peter Roos: Erebia tyndarus. http://www.treknature.com/gallery/Europe/Switzerland/photo55499.htm

The Camera:

SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 18mm, F/8, 1/500 sec., ISO-125, bias: -0.3, 26.08.2008, 13:46


Photoshop Elements. Cropped, downsized to web, selectively sharpened, levels slightly adjusted.

Have a very nice day.

*) Peter Roos (batu), thank you for your expert advice to the correct identification. As you say, this here clearly shows > E. tyndarus, and not the quite similar looking > E. cassioides that usually would show a pair of pretty well developped eyespots on the upper sides of upper wings, both eye spots centred white, and touching each other. Location also would suggest E. tyndarus rather than E. cassioides, as well indicated by you. Thanks a lot.

crs, jusninasirun, uleko, Miss_Piggy, Argus, dejo, haraprasan, Noisette, Alex99, eng55, maurydv, anel, flashpoint, ferranjlloret, Heaven, valy67, Juyona, Ninfa has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To uleko: ... I'd love to visit that locationpeter_stoeckl 1 02-23 09:01
To Argus: ... a fine view of the high alpine locationpeter_stoeckl 1 02-23 07:43
To Noisette: ... zarte Farbenpeter_stoeckl 1 02-23 05:08
To maurydv: ... grazie.peter_stoeckl 1 02-23 04:28
To anel: Silberdistelpeter_stoeckl 1 02-20 11:30
To batu: Tyndarus: danke, Peter!peter_stoeckl 1 02-19 08:52
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
It is with great interest that I consulted this post. This is interesting as we have notes on a beautiful flower, butterfly and in WS, picture of a place where the clouds touch the earth. I have never been that close to the clouds ;) Your macro is excellent with good control on exposure realized in difficult lightning conditions and showing amazing details and colors. This breathtaking landscape shows us a stunning POV which almost gave me vertigo :-) Thanks a lot for this complete post, I enjoyed it a lot.


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-02-07 17:19]

Ciao Peter,davvero una accoppiata meravigliosa,trovare una farfalla in un fiore cosi' spettacolare e catturare il tutto cosi' perfettamente e' un lavoro da grn maestro,ma tu ci hai abituato bene a non potevi deluderci..ehehhe..un'opera d'arte,complimenti,Luciano

Hello Peter,
Extraordinary flower and of course butterfly.
Good close up and well composed.

  • Great 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2009-02-07 21:46]

Hello Peter,

There are excelent color tones in your photo with a fine contrast between insect's colors and those of the flower. Youhave used a very good DOF showing sharply both butterfly and flower. Image quality is high showing well both up and down side of the wings.

Thank you for sharing,

Hi Peter,

There are so many aspects that make this image beautiful. The flower itself is a showpiece and you have captured it in such fine details. The butterfly is tact sharp in focus with the light perfectly exposed the image with pleasing framing.

TFS and have a great weekend,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2009-02-07 23:23]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
What a beautiful Thistle and a fine Ringlet too! Incredible to find butterflies at such heights! The Thistle is really beautiful and embraces the Ringlet very nicely. Excellent sharpness and beautiful colours. Very nicely framed too. I'd love to visit that location!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hola Peter, como siempre una toma muy especial, donde los colores juegan un papel muy importante, típico en tu estilo, y como siempre con una calidad técnica indudable. Buena disposición de la flor y bellas formas que le dan la nota especial al trabajo. Armonía en el color.

Un saludo y buen Domingo: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2009-02-08 1:21]
  • [+]

Guten Morgen Peter,
schön, auch mal wieder einen Beitrag von DIR zu sehen. Bildausschnitt und Perspektive sind perfekt gewählt.
Auch das Licht ist 1A kontrolliert. Die Farbgebung ist zurückhaltend vornehm. Von der Schärfe/Auflösung
könnte es etwas besser sein.
Der Falter ist, denke ich, ein Erebia tyndarus. Falls du gute Gründe für Erebia cassioides hast, wäre hier
etwas Besonderes zu sehen, da cassioides um Trafoi nicht vorkommt. Das sich von Bozen nach Süden ziehende
Etschtal bildet im Vinschgau die Westgrenze der cassioides-Verbreitung. Die Art wird westlich davon durch tyndarus ersetzt.
Schöne Grüße, Peter

Hallo Peter
Great image with strong and vibrant colours and detail. A beautiful presentation, not forgetting to mention the super clarity and sharpness in which you have captured both the butterfly and the flower. The clarity of the pollen on the flower is splendid. I cannot find fault and want to give you a well deserved smiley as well as a round of applause on this one. It is really gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this beauty.
Best of regards.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2009-02-08 1:48]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
With this posting you envite us to enjoy three things: the beautiful thistle flower, an Erebia cassioides and a fine view of the high alpine location. For this I am very grateful!
The thistle flower and Satyrid are shown from a great POV with fine details to show their features in a great composition and the landscape is well composed, taken in fine lighting to show the glacier and the bare areas superbly that could be a landscape posting in its own right. It is also a good habitat shot.
Thanks for delighting us with this,
Best wishes,

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2009-02-08 3:05]

Hello Peter,
nice sharp capture & great composition!
location is amazing!

Hi Peter,
A lovely dual capture in this one frame. A beautiful thistle flower and also the brassy ringlet butterfly. Superb sharp details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hallo Peter
diese Silber thistle ist eine sehr schöne Blume und der Schmetterling der darauf sitzt ist auch sehr Schön
sehr gute Komposition und zarte Farben
Haben Sie einen schönen Sonntag

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-02-08 8:24]

Hi, dear Peter.
It is absolutely unique shot. I am amazed with POV, amazing cropping and unbelievable 3D –effect of the image. You managed to represent this scene like on the inside. I fell myself near this wonderful butterfly just in the flower heart. Sharpness and details of all parts of the insect and flowers are stunning. Exposure, lights and colours cannot be better. And diagonal composition is the pleasant too. My congratulations and best regards.

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2009-02-08 12:29]

Hallo Peter,
It's a great macro work!I liked POV,colors,details,large DOF and visual impact a lot.Very well done!
Have a nice day too!
Thanks for posting.

Ciao Peter,
le tue fotografie, come ho già avuto modo di dirti, sono tutte straordinariamente belle, sia dal punto di vista strettamente fotografico che da quello più specificamente naturalistico, per i contenuti sempre nuovi ed interessanti che ci proponi, come in questo caso di una carlina completamente bianca che personalmente non ho mai avuto occasione di vedere, il mio apprezzamento e giudizio per le tue fotografie di farfalle è solo in termini di eccellenza.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-02-09 6:58]
  • [+]

Lieber Peter,
Bin wieder ein wenig spät, war im Wallis. Auch Du bist ja im Moment an der frischen Luft!
Freude habe ich an den feinen Farben dieses Bildes. Die diagonale Komposition gefällt mir auch sehr. Habe eine Schwäche für die Silberdistel, die bei mir auf der Wiese auch zu Hause ist. Der Schmetterling scheint sehr beschäftigt zu sein und hat sogar einen winzigen Zuschauer! Ob es E.tyndarus oder cassioides ist, kann ich nicht sagen. Aber eben diese Erebias sind so schwer zu bestimmen.
Mit herzlichen Grüssen

ciao Peter!
magnifica pista di atterraggio per le farfalle e altri insetti questa Carlina bianca.La composizione e' molto bella,
l'inclinazione dell'infiorescenza da modo
all'Erebia di mostrarsi mentre fa la scorta di nettare.La nota come sempre esaustiva.

buona settimana sERGIO

Hello Peter,
Superb capture of this Erebia cassioides in a Carlina acaulis, excellent POV and DOF, perfect sharpness with a fine details. Interesting doc and info. TFS.
Best regards. Ferran.

Hi Peter,
fast hätte ich dieses Bild übersehen ... wäre schade gewesen, es ist wundervoll.
Die Distel erinnert mich so sehr an eine Seerose, die "Finger" erhoben, fast wirkt das ein wenig bedrohlich für den Schmetterling der sich's hier schmecken läßt. Ein toller Moment, gefällt mir sehr, vielen Dank und lieben Gruß
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Hallo Peter!

Du hast gleich zwei "Fliegen" auf einen Streich getroffen. Beide - sowohl der Schmetterling als auch die Silberdistel - sind wunderbar und bilden zusammen ein feines Paar, das Du uns in einem schönen und schlichten Bild vorstellst. Mich berührt bei Deinen Beiträgen immer, wie Du Dich mit viel Hingabe mit der Natur auseinandersetzt. Dies schimmert sowohl bei Deine Bilders als auch bei Deinen Begleittexten durch.

Liebe Grüsse


  • Great 
  • izler Gold Star Critiquer [C: 1387 W: 3 N: 9] (44)
  • [2009-02-24 8:17]

merhaba peter
wonderful close-up capture
composition, POV, light, colours, DOF and sharpness are great

Hallo Peter !
Die Blume und der Schmätterling sind beide sehr schön, mir gefallen die Farben, sehr diskät, grau, passt gut zu unserem Winter der wir jetzt in Frankreich haben. Gut Details, sehr schön komponiert, une auch einin schönen POV. Vielen Dank !

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2009-03-02 13:03]

Hola amigo,
siempre tus trabajos son hermosos,
fina composición, atractivo encuadre...
saludos Peter.

great close up, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • Ninfa Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 112 W: 3 N: 204] (747)
  • [2009-04-09 21:38]

Hola Peter, que bellas tonalidades la luz y texturas muy bien captadas en esta flor que imagino que es muy atractiva para todos los insectos, con esta perspectiva, definitivamente la flor capta toda la atención.... y parece ella quien extrae el polem de la mariposa... Saludos Cordiales. Muchas gracias por tus comentarios y visita a mis fotos. *NinfaUrania*

Calibration Check