I imagine that you have yours, for I know that I have some myself. These decades of searching for butterflies in North America and the Middle East (Israel) have produced a very short list of butterflies that I especially love.
Here at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, along the Georgia coast, my imagination was caught by this native Sumac bush. It grew within. a foot or two of Woody Pond. That pond is the home of herons, storks, ibises, rails, egrets and alligators. Ellen Honeycutt has written of the Sumacs native to Georgia, and this Brooklyn boy was fascinated, Fascinated because 1/2 of my adult life, spent in and around New York City, I’d always heard that Sumacs (alien) didn’t belong, despite that there were 10’s of millions of alien Sumacs thriving thereabouts.
As I was examining this Woody Pond Sumac, it just beginning to bloom, who flies in? One of my butterfly favs, this Viceroy butterfly (Limenitis archippus). The Sumac kept it in partial shade, but the deep, rich color of this Viceroy was compelling, and there I was admiring a handsome specimen of one of my favorites, most beloved butterflies.
Decades of Love triggered, at Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge.
This is what I want to be doing in fast approaching 2020. I want to gape. Gape at such incredible, extraordinary sights as this. Laura recommended our visit to Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, not far from the Georgia coast. The result?
Dozens? Yes I think so. Dozens of very special, memorable moments there, as this one, a very fresh Palmades Swallowtail butterfly on wetland thistle. Thistle at pond’s edge. ‘Gators as close as . . . ? Butterflies abundant and pollen/nectar dispensing flora everywhere.
Opening up our wingedbeauty Media Library, my eyes locked on this image. The ‘Glory’ I saw there, then? You choose the words.
We made the brief acquaintance of this “U” for Uncommon (Glassberg, A Swift Guide to Butterflies) Twin-Spot Skipper in Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge. Yes it was a rush to see a seldom seen and very fresh skipper butterfly, perhaps the 3rd I’d ever seen. My move to Georgia continues to reward me with these kinds of thrilling moments, seeing butterflies that are seldom seen by even the most avid butterfly seekers.
Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge? Highly recommended. It is the home to so many much sough butterflies, wildflowers, botany, birds of wetlands and dry, insects, big alligators and baby alligators, snakes and more and more.
Fortunate you are when one such as Laura takes the time to urge you to head out to a destination, one that she knows is full of G-d’s creations, especially for me, butterflies.
Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America cites our large, bright yellow Cloudless Sulphur as the “most common Phoebis.” I think that Jeffrey is right. At this moment, September 18th, we have as many as 15 of them flying in our 303 Garden (20 of them?).
They’re a joy to see, flying in shade or 98F sun, moving from our native flowers to our Tithonia (Mexican Sunflower) or Giant Zinnias. They are mostly kind, tolerating the presence of camera lens.
We notice that aren’t much shared here and on Facebook and other sites. That’s not the way it ought to be, for they are numerous, polite and pretty.
This male was seen on Pickerelweed blooms in a pond at Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, near the Georgia (USA) coast. Our boots came from there soaked, but no alligators bothered us. Don’t know who the much smaller butterfly was at the bottom left of the pickerelweed flowerstalk?
We’re in Georgia now, gardening from the first week in February 2019 all the way to the last week in November? Gardening on my Jeffrey’s Birthday, November 28th?? This year, 2019, my Birthday falls on . . . Thanksgiving Day.
The prospect of gardening on Thanksgiving Day boggles my mind. It does. In Brooklyn, Queens, New York (Manhattan), Long Island and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the last week of gardening (I love to garden!) was usually the first week in September. Living in Middle Georgia has added +/- some 5 months of gardening to my life. Five months. That’s 5 months of seeing butterflies. I love that prospect, and Georgia so brings a smile to my face, Virginia, Ellen, Debi, Katy, Laura, Rabbi Aaron, Laura I., Rose, Kelly, Pandra, Sylbie, Brian, Stephen and Barbara Ann.
These memories, as this Gulf Fritillary Butterfly on Pickerelweed in Laura’s Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, do necessitate a modicum of maturity, for once Pickerelweed finishes producing its gorgeous pond-side blooms, we’ve got to wait a full year to again enjoy such eye-soothing sights as this one here. (Yes we were in ankle deep pond, and yes we urged G-d to keep any Gators away from us, while we shot away!).