Meredith Made Me Do It

Baltimore Checkerspot Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Jamestown Audubon Center, NY

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.

Jeff

4 thoughts on “Meredith Made Me Do It

  1. One day in WI we headed for a wildflower farm in central WI. It was a hot, sticky and miserable day I had a wish to see a butterfly butterfly I had never seen before. My wish came true. On Butterfly Weed there it was the one and only Baltimore Checkerspot I have ever seen. Magic- oh the fun of butterflies

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  2. love it! missed that trip NABA Ga. Chapter Prez Meredith Mays wrote about in 2016 and so glad to find the article to enjoy after the fact. Have planted the larval host, turtlehead, in the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch habitat summer of 2016 hoping to entice a couple our way….but planning to seek them out in 2017 whether they make it our way or not
    so glad that article pricked you into posting this lovely shot, another inspiration to make the effort to find these wings wherever they may be visiting

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    • Judgeva, the Meredith Mays piece in Butterfly Gardener (NABA publication) was a pleasant surprise for me. I thought we up here had Baltimore’s, and y’all didn’t. She and her group set that straight. Keep in mind, at the Habitat, that turtlehead perrenial plants, and the Baltimore checkerspots that favor them do require substantial wet conditions, so you’d do best to keep their feet wet. Oh, how I hope you bring them to the Habitat, as permanent residents!

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