True Confession? Many of the Skipper Butterflies are so similar, that even now, their identity eludes me. Take this one for example. I found it at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. This Refuge is very close to Chesapeake Bay, and its flora and fauna are vibrant and robust. It’s a bit more than an hour’s drive from Washington DC.
So, after working through Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies, I offer that this one is a . . . Broad-winged Skipper, perhaps the only one I’ve ever seen. It was a bit large for a Skipper and was found near their preferred habitat, tidal marshes.
It’s Memorial Day today in the U.S.A.. We remember those who lost their lives serving America. I read Jim Gilbreath’s post on Facebook, and it got to me. He shared with us memories of two wonderful young men, lost in battle. It got me to thinking of the so many young men and women I taught and got to know in New York City and in Pittsburgh. Have any fallen in battle, in service of their country? My artillery unit (155mm towed) was not sent to Nam . . .
It got me to thinking about how amazing! the United States is, and now I am pleased that you gaze at this little butterfly, the Silver-Spotted Skipper butterfly. It is an all American butterfly, and it flies somewhere in your state, all year in Florida, and from April to October, depending where you are. It is an energetic, spirited butterfly, not flashy, no show-off, kind of much like our men and women in service.
Where did we meet? It was totally absorbed in sipping the nectar being pumped by this Liatris plant, at Cloudland Canyon State Park in the northwestern Georgia mountains. The Liatris in our new 800 garden will be opening in some 2-3 weeks from now, or so.
If Uncle Sam had sent my Howitzer battalion to Viet Nam in 1968 . . . how many times have I thought of that? Me a 1st Lieutenant, the kid from Brooklyn, our cannon sending rounds up to 35 miles . . . Not much time for admiring butterflies from another world . . .
NB, And Cathy’s Billy, lost serving our country . . .
We met in a dry Arroyo in White Tank Mountains Regional Park, west of Phoenix. I reflect back to that day, and first I remember how risky this was, for signs warn to not enter dry Arroyos, dry stream beds.
This Skipper butterfly found these flowers, among the few in bloom in this super dry habitat. I did see butterflies, actually quite a few, in that Arroyo. Problem was I knew much about eastern USA butterflies, and little about these Western ones. The good news, during those 4 or 5 trips to White Tank Mountains, while visiting my mother-in-law, I lucked out, sometimes seeing rare butterflies, as the Arizona Powdered-Skipper.
So I ask y’all, can you help in once and for all identifying this Arizona skipper, seen in this dry Arroyo? No other images taken, in that 94F hot place.
When I began searching for butterflies, favorites and less favorite butterflies followed. After seeing thousands of Eastern Tailed Blues and thousands of Pearl Crescents, I became saturated, eventually passing them on trails, without stopping to examine or admire or to gaze. Oddly, Spicebush swallowtails now bring minimal excitement to me, though I’ve planted Sassafras to lure them in (?).
My 20,000th Silver-spotted Skipper butterfly too found me less than excited when I meet one. Yesterday, the closely related Hoary Edge Skippers we saw at Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge (Juliette, Georgia) excited me, for they are rarely seen, and yesterday they were beautifully tinted and so very fresh.
Here’s a Long-tailed Skipper butterfly seen at the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. Know that each and every one that I see rivets my attention. Why? I’ve only begun seeing them in 2015, so they’re newish to me. For reasons not fully clear to me, I have this desire to find ever fresher Long-Tailed Butterlies, fresher yet than I’ve ever seen.
I go with these impulses, trying hard to not examine them any more than I have to.
Long-tailed Skippers, bring them on, please.
Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America introduces you to 16 Long -tail Skipper butterflies, historically seen in the continental United States. That’s a whole lot more Long-tail skippers than I’ve seen to-date. Most of those I’ve not yet seen fly in the southwestern United States.
This is the Long-tailed skipper butterfly that I’d see occasionally in the southwestern Pennsylvania area. This Long-Tailed Skipper Butterfly (Urbanus proteus) is seen daily here in middle Georgia. It’s one of those butterflies that make you smile, and I do when I see my first Long-tail each morning. Why do I smile when I see them? This one here is is a bit worn, but me? I just love when they fly in to where I’m searching for butterflies, and next they take a perch, much like our cat Jasmine seems to like being near me, but always keeping a bit of distance.
Where’d I meet this one. In the Butterflies and Blooms Briar Patch Habitat I in Eatonton, Georgia, in middle Georgia’s Piedmont region.
Long-tailed Skippers bring it on.