About the Question Mark Butterfly

Question Mark butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

It’s the kind of early July morning that you savor, just as you savored that cup of coffee before you loaded up and drove to Raccoon Creek State Park. Nichol Road trail was so beautiful, although a bit coolish for early summer, and happily absent of biting mosquitoes and flies.

The section of trail that I especially like was busy with lots of butterflies. Over the years it has offered up some of my very best photographs, as well as some of my most frustrating misses. High on the list of those misses was the Mourning Cloak Butterfly that kept moving each time I drew close. It flew to a lovely area covered with verdant foliage and landed on the vertical wall of this little microhabitat. The sun was early morning sun and it warmed the dorsal (upper) surface of this winged beauty.

But this morning it was a Question Mark butterfly (Polygonia Interrogationis) that challenged this photographer. I approached, knelt down with camera slowly raising, and it fled. Classic Agggh! It flew up to the leaf of a tree directly above me. The morning sunlight was front lighting the leaf, silhouetting the Question Mark. This is one of those photographic images that broke the mold. I shot away, and am happy to share it with you.


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