OK! Common Checkered-Skipper

Checkered-skipper photographed by Jeff Zablow at the National Butterfly Center, Mission, TX

Jeff so wanted this fresh Checkered Skipper to be a Desert Checkered -Skipper. It was said that it just might be. Commons are found throughout most of the United States, and yes, they are seen so often that they rank as ‘common.’

We were in the National Butterfly Center, Mission, Texas. Four (4) Checkered-Skippers have been seen there.

Review of this image concludes this is a Common Checkered-Skipper. It’s seen in nearly all of the U.S. continental states, except New England.

I’m sure this is of zero concern to this tiny creative masterpiece, though it could not be faulted for feeling overlooked by nearly all who love butterflies. Who among us trumpet the arrival of a ‘Common?’

Jeff

Panhandling, Finally

Wildflower with Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida's Panhandle

I retired in February 2007. I Loved teaching high school Biology. My Vo-tech students weren’t college bound, but together we enjoyed teaching/learning Biology. The administration of that school often made my teaching life hellish, something about me being from “New York” and more. They continued that although they knew that my dear wide Frieda A”H was in the later stages of her battle with Cancer. When the Oncologists told us that Frieda would need a caregiver going forward (?), she suggested that I retire and put on my caregiver hat. I retired, ‘though it did not end well.

After, after the shiva (sitting and receiving friends and family) I took stock = what did I want to do with my life, to contribute something substantive? I wanted to continue photographing butterflies on a modest budget, on my own time. Should I bust-out to Bolivia, Costa Rica, Senegal, Mongolia, the Rockies? No, that was not my thinking. No getting kidnapped, no gut wrenching gastrointestinal diseases, no Bolivia bus going over the edge, with me in it. The USA was my focus, and east of the Mississippi at that. Israel too, once a year, to see Rachel and Hillel and Boaz, and to head-out to the Galilee/Golan and to come home and tease my Christian friends, that I stopped in at Capernum and drove past.

Florida, especially northern Florida was a 25 year destination dream for me. When NABA published their first Destinations article, with the wonders of Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, that was that, I was going there. There.

Here I am in the Spring Unit of Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, near Perry Florida. The Hampton Inn was OK. Big Bend was 20 minutes away.

Oh, the wonders of that place! I worked the trails, alone (again naturally) and there was so much to see, so many new butterflies and wildflowers. Liatris was just beginning to open that late August 2016.

Native, wild Hibiscus (correct ?) were eye candy. That this little Skipper obliged and flew in to nectar bespeaks of the richness of the Florida Panhandle.

Jeff

Skipper On Break in Clay Pond Reserve

Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Clay Pond Preserve, Frewsburg, NY

Stats once again. It is my belief that 0.00038% of Americans are able to ID the Skipper butterflies of the northeastern United States, or the southeastern United States, etc. This translates to less than 4 people in 10,000 who can tell you the name of the Skippers where they live in the United States.

Self consciously, I admit to have difficulty identifying Skippers. This one here, seen at Clay Pond Reserve, in Falconer, New York State? Is it a Long Dash Skipper?

What it is, is fascinating. Starkly beautiful. Met in thigh-high grass in on marshy land, just 30 feet from the pond. Resting, though I forever wonder how they make the decisions they do, as here, to take a break. What is the level of conscious decision making?

This stuff triggers me, that’s for sure.

Jeff

Long Dash Skipper– a Polites mystic

Skipper Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Clay Pond Preserve, Frewsburg, NY

It’s Skipper time. Here we were, at Clay Pond Reserve in western New York State. My eyes are peeled for Satyrs, Viceroys, Monarchs, Wood Nymphs, Angle wings. Rare and/or beautiful wildflowers are also appreciated.

The grass is thigh high, and the going is slow, for though the pond is only 50 feet away, this is a very wet read very wet meadow.

You see what I saw. A very beautiful skipper on a lush, colorful bloom. Arrgh! I try to make believe that I don’t see handsome skipper butterflies, because there are so many species of them about and I never did develop a working ID program in my head, to tell one from another skipper species.

That moment though, I thought, Hey! this is one of the more interesting Skipper species, it is totally occupied as it nectars the full flower head, and it’d make a fine image, if I can capture what I see and share it well.

June 2017, and I make this as a Long Dash skipper, nicely adorned, eyes good and proboscis well extended. And Barbara Ann, he is sipping at this (what kind do you think this is?) bloom.

Jeff