Gray Hairstreak on Goldenrod

Gray Hairstreak butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek Park, PA, 9/21/06

Whatever it is that puts that look in your amiga’s eyes when attractive male leads take center screen…here is another handsome figure, capable of that same star power. September 21st finds him in Nichol field, the 100 acre +/- field in Raccoon Creek  State Park, southwestern Pennsylvania. Set out before him are tens of acres of goldenrod, so there is no need to rush. That calm helped me, too, for he wasn’t apprehensive or reluctant to my approach.

Savor his many fine details. Two pairs of hindwing tails, rich reddish patch, with black dot on each hindwing border, well-defined post median dash-line in 3 distinct colors, that smart orangish leading edge on his forewings, the orange club tips on each antenna, those pookie eyes, the grays of the wings, that last so typical of his fellow hairstreaks.

Favored with a taste for all sorts of nectars, this adaptive feature brings them to a very great variety of wild flowering and garden plants. Strymon melinus flies in the east, from Maine to the Keys, from as early as April to as late as Novemeber…and is aloft all year in southern Florida.

Gray hairstreaks are small butterflies, but bestowed with much beauty. May I ask THE question? Have you seen one? Won’t cost a cent, and will bring much Yes! into your life.

Oh yes, they are not too difficult to find. Once you find a fresh one, truth be told, they often pose quite well, and move methodically from one look to another, so good images can be additional reward. ‘Nough said?


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