Silver-Spotted Skipper Butterfly

Silver-spotted skipper butterfly photographed by Jeffrey Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

What’s left to be said about this large and common skipper? Lots. This one was found in Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. The summer nights may be warm, but it’s much cooler amongst the trees, where they fly to and sleep. When the sun rises in the morning, they fly out of the woods and many search for a flat leaf, that faces the rising sun. There I am, sometimes, awaiting such photo opportunities. This Epargyreus clarus shares it handsome dorsal features with us. Prominent are those burnished golden spots, arranged on the forewings, with the single rectangular spot close to the 3rd of the 4. The rich chocolate-brown always reminds me of my favorite dark brown shoes, just after I’ve polished them with Kiwi shoe polish, and buffed them with my nearly 30-year old boar’s hair brush. Associations have special meaning, don’t they.

All that is a reminder that this common butterfly, a native, should not ever be taken for granted. Just as we sometimes forget that those closest to us are as special as the celebs we see on TV or Netlix or in the NFL or NBA or MLB or at the opera, dance or on the walls of fine arts museums, Silver-spotteds are extraordinary creatures sporting mouth-watering gradations of brown, flying mostly unscathed amongst who knows what deadly predators, and who do not ask even a dime (10 cents) from us, ever, even in this current climate of do for me, do for me, do for me.

Just give them a variety of flowering, free, wildflowers, leave them be, and they will flash their dandy white patches (on  the ventral hindwing) at you as they spend their time happily flying from here to there. Or, watch a 2-year old who has spotted one of these cuties in a local garden or field. How this butterfly allows the child to approach, and insures that a lifetime ahead will enjoy the fascination and appreciation of butterflies, of all types.

Jeff

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  1. Pingback: Mallow skipper butterfly back in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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