Finding Brooklyn’s Cabbage White Butterflies in Raccoon Creek State Park

Cabbage White Butterfly on a Thistle photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PAFemale Cabbage White Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

They were friends when I was a little boy, back in Brooklyn, New York. We lived on the edge of development, our houses next to vast undeveloped ‘lots’ back then, those ‘lots’ today all covered with houses, stores and businesses. Never much for the brick, cement and asphalt that I grew up in, I was the kid who left the punchball, stickball, Johnny On The Pony, Heels, Ring-A-Leeveo games, to head over to the ‘lots’ to enjoy the wildlife that called those tree-less spaces home.

I remember that Cabbage White Butterflies were very abundant back then. Never had a field guide as a kid, but somehow I had learned that they were known as ‘European Cabbage White Butterflies’ and I kind of never developed much affection or love for them. Today? Almost never hear or see them called ‘European’ anymore, for they are here, here to stay. We do see few of them nowadays, although I’ve not read much of why their numbers have declined appreciably.

Males have one spot on their forewings. The image on the left is a male, I hold. Females have 2 spots on their forewings, and the image on the right clearly shows those 2 spots.

Both images were captured in Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania, some 8 plus hours by car from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, New York, New York.

Jeff

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