This has been a good Spring for Nymphalis Antiopa. These Mourning Cloak Butterflies are plentiful along the trails in Frick Park. They favor trails that cut through a forest. Today Petra (my black russian terrier) had just left the Frick Off Leash Exercise Area, when we saw a young Mourning Cloak butterfly flying at the forest edge. It responded to us by flying up into a cherry tree blanketed with sensational blooms. I thought about how this butterfly depends heavily on scat only to realize that it sipping on nectar from cherry flowers. Petra and I waited there for at least 2 minutes. Yes, it was still methodically and slowly moving from flower to flower. Mourning Cloaks are not that predictable!
This image is of a different Mourning Cloak butterfly, at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. It’s late Spring and the yellow marginal bands are scrumchis-looking. There’s no northeastern butterfly like the Mourning Cloak. I want you to notice those two blue spots on its left forewing, as sweet as they are. I LOVE those Sky Blue spots. I do.
One of my short term goals for these coming weeks is to capture an image of a Mourning Cloak that is better than those that I already have. Nuts, huh?