Is Shining Your Shoes Passe?

Great Spangled Fritillary Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, 9/5/14
Traffic here from guys under age 40? Light, I would say. So I’ll share the thought. Here in Doak Field, Beaver County, Pennsylvania, on September 5th, this sizable Great Spangled Butterfly was now out from the woods, and she wanted to warm her wings in the early morning sunlight. That quick mental tug-of-war resolved, I decided to work to capture yet another image of these huge Fritillaries, and hopefully . . . best those that I already have in my Neumade slide cabinet.

Fort Dix, New Jersey and Fort Sill, Oklahoma got me into shining my boots daily, a habit that I have now relaxed into a weekly chore. I have always loved rich chocolate brown leather shoes, and used to love my chocolate brown suits, but they have long slipped into “No one wears them anymore-ville.” Also, I’m guessing that men under 40 don’t shine their shoes and perhaps never did.

Our Speyeria Cybele totally evokes my shoe shining rituals. Could it be that rich brown that triggers that wired thought? Butterflies all evoke thoughts and snippets of memory for me. Do they for you, too?

She’s about the same as you’d see her in Eatonton, Georgia or Crockett, Virginia, as well as up in Maine and usually down to the Western sides of both North and South Carolina. (Cech and Tudor, Butterflies of the East Coast).


5 thoughts on “Is Shining Your Shoes Passe?

    • Females display this large dark area next to the thorax and abdomen. Once they’ve warmed (around 8:30 AM-ish), females like this one tend to spend their time hidden in low growth adjacent to the treelike. Males. At one time I thought that males Great Spangled frits were crazzzy! i’d watch males fly at top speed, non-stop, weaving in and out of those same forest margins, expending who knows how much energy. I came to understand that they were seeking females, and they did this with 100% energy expense. Once a male locates a female, he shows off, with that very same manic-focus. Not sure if the attraction is visual, aromatic, or wavelength related. Good question that.


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