Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow in Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

Things that I love?  They include chocolate chip cookies, roast chicken, mint chip ice cream, cara cara oranges, broiled lamb chops, sweet potatoes, apple pie, and fresh Gray Hairstreak Butterflies.

I work a flower bed, this one in the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory, seeking butterflies to photograph, always searching for individuals more beautiful than those you’ve seen before. Invariably I am looking for good-sized fliers. Don’t large butterflies fascinate? Aren’t little butterfly species not very interesting? What is that?  Is it a tiny little butterfly resting in that bed of zinnias?

Strymon melinus. She is a looker! Her ventral gray color is rich, and her pair of hindwing tails are intact. Her red-black-white dash-line is vivid  on her hind wing. Her posture is erect and assured. Her lipstick-red colored patch was doing what lipstick red does: Hello!

Things that I love? Photographing Gray Hairstreak butterflies just fresh from make-up, costume and stylist; patiently awaiting the lucky photographer.  I was determined to share her full beauty amidst her generous and sylvan home. She posed for my camera, then tired of the session. She fled.