How many design features do you count on the right 2 wings of this Edwards’ Hairstreak butterfly? We’re in that magical meadow at the Lynx Prairie Reserve refuge in Adams County, Ohio. I’m sure that this butterfly is totally fresh, probably eclosing (having left its chrysalis) that very morning, or just the day before).
I would Love to find Edwards’ in my new Macon garden. We’ve set in Butterflyweed, for at Lynx they were aggressively nectaring on that milkweed, and we set in 2 Bear Oaks trees, this small Oak a favorite of Edwards’ Hairstreaks. Range maps show their range to extend nearly as far south as Macon, and it’d be a Hoot! to wake up one morning and . . . find Edwards’ nectaring and setting eggs on our Bear Oaks.
There are so few of us who seek butterflies, so finding rarer ones, like these, does leave me with a feeling of unique accomplishment. I’ve always regretted not having interacted with the Native Americans who lived here before us, and I’ve no doubt that they too marveled over the design features and absolute beauty of such a Hairstreak butterfly.
Am I being to gushy here, or is my thinking shared?
I was working that long neglected field in Israel, the HolyLand. Mishmarot, a one-time Kibbutz north of Tel-Aviv, and 10 minutes east of the Mediterranean Sea. I knew that in the coming years, homes would be built right here, but for now, it was a moderately ‘disturbed’ field, and wildflowers had nearly reclaimed it.
My daughter’s house, where I was staying, was just a 5 minutes walk away, enabling me to get to this field early, well before the very hot Middle Eastern sun would be overhead. When I began working the edge of the field, what did I see?
There, resting on a dried flowerstalk, was a fresh, colorful Melitaea Phoebe butterfly. I’ve seen many of them before, nearly all when they were worn, with substantial scale (color) loss. This one had recently eclosed and retained all of its scales. Would it tolerate my slow, robotic, slow approach. I shoot Macro- requiring that I carefully descend to rest on the kneepad on my left knee, and slower than slowly bring my lens up to shoot.
I did my best, and thankfully this fritillary of the Middle East remained in place! What a Thrill! How energized I was, knowing that the 35- or so exposures that I got would probably include a good image!
Less than 2 miles from the shore of the Mediterranean Ocean, in the HolyLand, I scoured the hills of Ramat Hanadiv Refuge for butterflies. This north of Tel Aviv expansive reserve is an excellent destination to find butterflies and rare botany. On site they have an excellent restaurant for lunch, and at the end of each morning, I would make sure to enjoy an excellent meal, in their windowed dining room, with good view of the planted gardens.
That day I found this Pseudophilotes Vicrama butterfly, with its pleasant dotted ventral surface, flash of iridescent purplish dorsal wing surface and as you look closer, that sweet red dot. Angling to include the cute purple bloom seen to the right, the whole of the image pleases me, it does.
Butterflies, rare plants, wildlife and ruins, with a large parking lot, view of the Mediterranean Sea and excellent restaurant on site, more than enough, no?
We’ve held off posting with this image, for I’ve tried so hard, for so many years, to capture butterfly images with the butterfly’s eyes clearly seen. I’ve theorized that y’all only see lion, wolf, horse, dog, cat, fisher, owl and osprey images with eyes sharp and prominent. I’ve occasionally urged folks new to capturing butterfly images to try to get those eyes, those amazing butterfly eyes.
Comes once and a while an image like this one, and what to do? The right hindwing of this Dusky-blue Groundstreak butterfly? Beyond beautiful, I believe. What should we do, share it or not?
I share it with you, for even in the challenging light of a cloudy National Butterfly Center, Mission, Texas morning, I LOVE the work G-d’s done here, with those reds, blues, blacks, tans, brown, white and oranges?
Share or not share? What think you?
It’s Memorial Day today in the U.S.A.. We remember those who lost their lives serving America. I read Jim Gilbreath’s post on Facebook, and it got to me. He shared with us memories of two wonderful young men, lost in battle. It got me to thinking of the so many young men and women I taught and got to know in New York City and in Pittsburgh. Have any fallen in battle, in service of their country? My artillery unit (155mm towed) was not sent to Nam . . .
It got me to thinking about how amazing! the United States is, and now I am pleased that you gaze at this little butterfly, the Silver-Spotted Skipper butterfly. It is an all American butterfly, and it flies somewhere in your state, all year in Florida, and from April to October, depending where you are. It is an energetic, spirited butterfly, not flashy, no show-off, kind of much like our men and women in service.
Where did we meet? It was totally absorbed in sipping the nectar being pumped by this Liatris plant, at Cloudland Canyon State Park in the northwestern Georgia mountains. The Liatris in our new 800 garden will be opening in some 2-3 weeks from now, or so.
If Uncle Sam had sent my Howitzer battalion to Viet Nam in 1968 . . . how many times have I thought of that? Me a 1st Lieutenant, the kid from Brooklyn, our cannon sending rounds up to 35 miles . . . Not much time for admiring butterflies from another world . . .
NB, And Cathy’s Billy, lost serving our country . . .