Horace’s Duskywing Butterfly (RCSPark)

Horace's Duskywing butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek Park, PA, 5/08/07

May 8th and we’re not alone as we travel Nichol Road trail in Raccoon Creek State Park. These pert, excitable little Duskywing butterflies flank me on either side of much of the trail. Some hold their position, others flee, only to set down 15 feet ahead or back. Very territorial, are these butterflies. Female Duskywing butterflies are more brightly decorated, this one here an especially well-adorned miss.

That she’s a Erynnis horatius is fairly certain… but not guaranteed. Juvenal’s, Wild Indigos and possibly other Duskywings are also flying here in May.

Duskywings, when they are as fresh as she is, remind me of certain men’s haberdashery shops that used to line spiffy Madison Avenue in New York, New York in the 1980’s. Enter those hatters and you’d enter a world of the richest chocolate-brown hats that could be imagined. A well dressed, confident man in a rich brown hat…

Good little butterflies, keeping you company, and keeping you sharp  and aware, ready for the Leps that your camera lens is aching to capture. Good.

Funny too about Duskywings… I’ll bet that only 1 in 20 who hike these trails, notice our tiny Duskywings. As I meet hikers on these trails, to my question, ‘What butterflies have you seen?” Answer (guaranteed): None. Me, I’m thinking, actually you have probably set your eyes on dozens, though few such nerve impulses have made it all the way to that locus in your brain that….