Just yesterday someone on Facebook shared an image of this one, an Appalachian Brown Butterfly, and as is often seen, they asked all who saw, What is This One? We understand their surprise, when finding a butterfly that is solitary, rarely seen, and resides in wetlands. Folks explain that they’ve been out doing field photographing for butterflies for years, and they’d never seen this one before. I enjoy hearing this, for such people are excited, and it assures that they will go out again and again in the future, wondering what new butterfly they may see.
Me I too feel that way. Each year I discover new butterflies, and it is so invigorating to know that the sylvan, undeveloped habitat hold so many new finds for us to enjoy.
Add to that the challenges, as in . . . is this an Appalachian Brown or the closely related Eyed Brown? We were in the Prairie Fen Reserve in Ohio, where both of these species fly. After some minutes comparing the 2 species with this image, I’m sticking to Appalachian Brown, to await what Harry, Bob Pyle, the Other Harry, Curt, Phil, Rose & Jerry, Dave, Joe suggest?
Barbara Ann (A”H) and I were at Clay Pond Preserve in Frewsburg, New York, near Jamestown. It was a damp, humid morning, with the sun promising to return within the hour. It was early, as we waded through the 2-foot tall pond-edge grasses and sedges. As we moved, butterflies rose up from here and there, fleeing. There were more butterflies being rustled up than I would have expected. That reassured me that on that my second trip to Clay Pond, it remained a rich, healthy wetland destination.
I noticed this form in the grass ahead, and carefully making my approach, I kneeled down to get a better look, and this is what I saw, an Eyed Brown Butterfly (Satyroydes eurydice). The available light was limited, the air was moisture saturate, and the sky remain cloudy.
Almost like those TV shows where the cops are staking out a house, before sunrise or after sunset.
Sharing this photo of an Appalachian Brown butterfly pleases me very much. These butterflies of swamps and wet woods have something special about them. When you spot one, you have got to crack a smile, for these are not butterflies that you can meet at your whim. They appear when they appear, and when they decide to, Poof! they are gone.
This magical butterfly was seen in the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge in central Georgia’s Piedmont region.
Butterflies out of the sun, in the reduced light of the forest’s understory.
I do delight when I introduce butterflies to you, that 99.99% of Americans have never seen. It so enthuses me, sharing the epiphany that G-d has bestowed upon us countless living things of beauty.
That’s the way I think, freed from those decades of working and raising my family. There has been, and continues to be, an infinite number of beautiful things about. Some can be seen at your doorstep (almost) and others have to be sought. This Eyed Brown butterfly soothes my long love of browns and versions of brown.
Seen at Allenberg Bog, with Barbara Ann Case. Very western New York State.
Barbara Ann left us on Friday, March 13, 2020. She led me through the almost unmarked trail, that took us to this gem of a peat moss bog. She was not in good health then, but she would not desist from heading out to, and exploring that spectacular, nearly unknown bog.
How will I find Allenberg this year? Who will lead me there? Who will fill the enormous void?
We scoured Prairie Road Fen, Angela and Barbara Ann for orchids and wildflowers, with me keeping an eye out for butterflies. Near Dayton, Ohio, I was again and again impressed with the richness of Ohio reserves and parks.
They found their orchids, here at Prairie Fen Reserve and almost everywhere else, they with much experience with orchids and near relentless in their pursuit of them.
Me? I was reintroduced to several butterflies of the northeastern USA that are hard to find. This Eyed Brown butterfly was such, one I rarely see over the years. It’s home? Wet meadows.
Once my Fuji slides were returned from Dwayne’s Photo, I was thrilled by this image. Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America cites Eyed Brown’s as “LR-U” at the southern edge of range,” and that made our meeting even more serendipitous. Rare to Uncommon brings a smile, for that 6 hour or so drive west from Pittsburgh, for such moments, made sense, much sense.
Studying the rich play of color on this left hindwing, I think of the subtle beauty it displays, those tiny eyes, shining as little spotlights, the jagged lines that enable us to differentiate this butterfly from the closely related Appalachian Brown butterfly, the rich hues of brown that I’m on record as . . . loving and the good capture of the head, legs and antennae.
The beauty of an eyed brown, a fresh eyed brown.