The Skipper You’ve Never Seen

Leonard's Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

Anyone ever seen this one? Few appear to have ever seen a Leonard’s Skipper. I met this one because one year, well into September, I wondered. What would I meet at Raccoon Creek State Park‘s Doak Meadow/Nichol Road trail?

That morning, on a trail cut through the high grass of Doak Meadow, I was startled (Yes!) to watch this large skipper fly out from the high grass and fly to rest on the cut grass floor of the trail? Excited does not enough describe my reaction to this unexpected reward for heading out the Raccoon Creek State Park, when y’all had already headed back to work, school and to all that folks do when summer ends and life returns back to normal.

Glassberg’s Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America describes Leonard’s as LR-U (Locally Rare to Uncommon) and notes that in western Pennsylvania it flies from late August to September.

In Pennsylvania, September weather quickly cools off, and butterflies soon disappear. Leonard’s eludes most of us, for you’re back at your desk, shuttling your kids to school and oboe lesson and back to doing your research or continuing to work on your doctoral work.

Me? I was retired, and I think this was after my Frieda A”H passed, and I needed this, alot.


One thought on “The Skipper You’ve Never Seen

  1. Glad you got it. To know them I’ve not seen any skippers east of Austin that I didn’t see there. The vast majority I have not seen to know. When it comes to skippers, good to be out with an old hand. It is a beauty, I can sort of imagine the thrill.


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