No, I’m Not a Monarch!


Pearl Crescent Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, August 2014

Each day we learn more about animals. Dogs, we are now told, think. Cats do too. Those of us who spend considerable time amongst butterflies often wonder, do they, can they think? Problem solve? Do they flee because of instinct, or do they decide when and if to go?

Butterflies certainly might, if they can reason at all, exasperate, because we lavish so much attention upon Monarchs, Tiger Swallowtails, Coral hairstreaks, Giant Swallowtails, and pay little or no attention to the likes of this stunner, a shmeksy female Pearl Crescent butterfly  (Phyciodes Tharos). She was warming up her wings on a sunny August morning along a trail in Doak Field,  Raccoon Creek State Park, on the western side of Pennsylvania.

If she thinks, then she must puzzle over why she sets there, very attractively lounging on a verdant leaf, while anyone who goes by asks, ‘Hey, have you seen any Monarchs yet this morning?’


6 thoughts on “No, I’m Not a Monarch!

  1. Nice write up Jeff!!
    It would be rather self centered of us all to feel the creatures do not have some kind of thought pattern. I mean it may not be what computer system am I getting today, or the bills need to be paid or whatever us humans think about, however everything must have some kind of survival skills or they would not be here …. or that is how I feel anyhoo :)


    • Yikes. I consider myself a survivor, city streets, NYC high school toughs, brief but artillery military experience, managing property on the mean streets, and all that, but my alert ratio pales when compared with most butterflies, they who you can’t get close to no matter how you try, and those who snooker you by flying up over spiky plants, or menacing rocky outcroppings, or in high mountain, fallen rock. These always make me wonder, hey, I’m not dealing with dopes here, these b-flies must be able . . . .
      Thanks MrsRoadRunner.


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