Red’s Unscheduled Stops

Red Admiral butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA. Jeff blogs about the art and science of butterflies at http://www.wingedbeauty.comForget making an appointment to meet a Red Admiral butterfly. They just never show up! It’s futile to think that if you at a certain garden or trail, at a certain time, that you’ll meet up. Does not happen.

This is the butterfly of Unscheduled Stops. Seemingly no itinerary, they make fly in and nectar briefly, ‘though most of the time they disregard your blooms, and if do they show, they land on your garden walk, inspect that all  is as it should be, and are soon gone.

When they do make an appearance, experienced butterfly lovers recognize that immediately, what with those bright reddish-orange stripes crossing each forewing. There’s nothing like  them.

Me? Their name, Vanessa has always transfixed me. Vanessa, such a mystical name. Then my mind goes to that actress whom I have no patience for, Vanessa Redgrave, whose politics leave a bad taste in my mouth. Why did she have to get such an otherwise wild name?

I’ve not seen many Red Admirals this 2017. The last one I saw was in Lynx Prairie Preserve, in Adams County, Ohio. Of course I saw it for moments, as it  promptly left, as is their habit, leaving you abruptly, wondering, “What’s the rush?”


One thought on “Red’s Unscheduled Stops

  1. I’ve had some Red Admiral encounters this year. In fact, it was the only butterfly I saw when I visited Minnesota in June. So grateful to see any butterfly – it has been like a butterfly drought this year in some parts of the country.

    I encounter Red Admirals fairly often in my garden. One thing I particularly like about them is their human-friendliness. Though they dash about like skippers, suddenly they stop for a rest on the top of my head, my wrist or my clothes. Sometimes when they stop, they stay quite a while and are so still that it is startling when they take off again at high speed.

    This year, they don’t seem interested in my zinnias which they previous nectared on. (In fact nobody is interested in the zinnias, making me wonder about the nursery I got them from). They do seem to like to rest on brick walls, concrete blocks, etc. Wonder what they think about while they bask…

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