Here’s one of my images that has long been prodding me, urging me to use it for a wingedbeauty.com post. Why have I kept it locked away from your sight? Try as I will with field guides, I cannot be sure which Duskywing butterfly it is?
A beauty it is, seen in Raccoon Creek State Park in Hookstown, Pennsylvania, about one hour west of Pittsburgh, and about 20 minutes or less east of the West Virginia-Pennsylvania line.
I dislike admitting, but Duskywings and many Skippers, well, they challenge, alot. Curt, Harry, Ken, Dave, or Jeff or Mr. Pyle, they’d all know.
We’re in our new home, of 3 months now. We moved from Eatonton, kind of sadly leaving our backyard, some 120′ x 120.’ That yard now has more than a hundred ( 3 hundred?) natives Georgia plants, set in 8 new, extensive beds. Almost all are hostplants for butterflies native to or occasional migrants to middle Georgia.
We moved to Macon area, and our new backyard already had about 20 large azaleas and others plants. Again we’ve been adding Georgia natives, including Black Cherry trees (3), Linden (Bee tree or Tilia) (2) and our neighbor next door now has two rare Florida Willow trees set in along the creek running through his property.
Native cherries, Linden and Willows are the hostplants for this attractive butterfly, the Red-spotted Purple. They fly throughout Georgia, and they have been my trail companions for decades, as Jeff quietly sang “I’m Just A Lonely Boy, Lonely And Blue, I’m All Alone With . . . .” especially during the years that Frieda L”H was valiantly battling Cancer. Often they’d follow me on trails, in the very same Raccoon Creek State Park (southwestern Pennsylvania) pictured here.
Our Black Cherry, Bee Tree and the neighboring Florida Willows are in and all growing robustly. We’ve set the table for Red-spotted Purples and we await their arrival, much.
I’ve only seen Deudorix Livia once, in the Biblical place known as Ein Gedi. the Dead Sea is within sight of Ein Gedi. Meeting D. Livia pleased me. His black spots show well here, as do his set of ‘tails.’ He also reveals a tiny bit of his dorsal (upper surface) burnt orange color, a color I like alot.
A hairstreak butterfly that flies all year in the HolyLand, Israel, yet is never seen in any appreciable numbers. One of those butterflies that can be seen throughout Israel, but is uncommon . . . everywhere.
To see him, I took a train from Binyamina to Ber Sheva University South, then took a bus ride, a long bus ride, through a decidedly hostile region, until finally, finally the Dead Sea came into sight, and my bus descended from the high plateau we’d been driving through, to the very, very, very low land that the Dead Sea rests in.
As before, I am pleased to have found so many Israeli butterflies, just as King David, Jesus and Joshua did, then.
We all have our own stored away visual memories of butterflies that have left us in Awe! I’ve never counted how many my brain has in its butterfly met image stored library?
Oh, you want me to guess? I’d guess this decades long photographer of butterflies has more than 50 all-time Happily Shocked! images of butterflies tucked away in my cerebral gray matter.
This is one of them. That newly eclosed Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly seen at the Jamestown Audubon Center (they changed their name after) in far western New York State. To this day, I Love this image and find this butterfly to be a reminder of G-d’s creative beauty. I do.
My best meeting with a Striped Hairstreak (Satryium liparops) took place a very long time ago. I was looking through a small ‘butterfly garden’ at the old HQ of the Powdermill Reserve Refuge in Rector, Pennsylvania. The refuge was in the lush, sylvan hilly country known as the Laurel Highlands, with Ligonier nearby. This region gets heavy tourism, what with Frank Lloyd Wright’s world-renowned Fallingwater, down the road in Mill Run and the very lush Bear Run Reserve across the road.
There, stationed on a leaf, I met this Striped Hairstreak. It was fresh, intricate and plain gorgeous. I shot away, it remained in place, moving only slightly in the next minutes! I tell you I kept marveling at how G-d had Created so much, including this tiny beauty.
Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America cites the Striped Hairstreak as “R-U” (Rare -Uncommon), with “one rarely encounters large numbers.” Several years later I did get (for the first and only time in my life) banned from Powdermill, preventing me from much returning to that bountiful Reserve to perhaps again meet a Striped.
So, I’ve seen 2 Stripeds in my time. How many have you seen?