Yesterday’s mail was delivered by Autumn, and with it came the new issue of NABA’s Butterfly Gardener. In it was an excellent piece by Meredith Mays, President of the Piedmont (Georgia) chapter of the North American Butterfly Association. Her article is titled, ‘In Search of Baltimore Checkerspot.’
That triggered memories of my own encounters with the scrumptious! looking eastern butterfly. First at Powdermill Reserve, conserved by the Pittsburgh Museum of Natural History, and much later in 2015 and 2016 at the Jamestown Audubon Center in very western New York State. Sharp memories they are, for there are some butterflies you want to see, for they are rare, or curious looking, or on your personal list of what I do want to meet and greet.
Then there are those like you see here, the Baltimore, that ascribe to all of the above, but are also visual treats, knockouts! I fully place Baltimore Checkerspots in the “it’s gorgeous” category. More can be said. They are found in and around wetlands, and wetlands fascinate me. Their hostplant is turtlehead wildflower plants. Now who would chose turtleheads for their #1 diet selection? And sadly, when you find them, you know that that’s about 97.3% because you are standing in a protected reserve, otherwise it seems that on private wetland you find 2 unfortunate phenomena: Baltimores and . . . developers.
I almost posted instead an image of Stanley Lines on that famous ‘faux porch” in the Briar Patch Habitat, but then Meredith’s article arrived, and my thoughts turned to Baltimores.