American Copper Butterflies on a Cut Out Trail in Raccoon Creak State Park’s Doak Field

American copper butterfly photographed at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

There was that cut path (trail) in Doak Field that I used to love to work. Orange sulphurs, Tiger Swallowtails and the occasional Monarch Butterfly were almost sure to be seen along that 200 foot hike. Good that, be they weren’t what I was looking for. I was on the lookout for American Copper Butterflies. June and July they’d be there, usually resting on the mowed trail, and it was always the same. I’d slowly approach, spot several, including a beautiful American Copper. They would quickly disperse, flying no more than 10-15 feet into the meadow growth. I’d continue slowly on the trail, and within minutes, I would return, hoping to again find and photograph that ‘beautiful one.’

I liked their story. Their ancestors came from Western Europe and the British Isles, and like many of our family lore, they thrived here, and now have earned the common name ‘American Copper.’

Here now in Georgia, so many I meet trace their families’ stories back to Georgia in the early to late 1700’s. I know because I often ask. Like the American Copper Butterflies, my own story in America begins much later than that, but like my new Georgia acquaintances, I feel deeply rooted here, and so value this soil.

American Coppers please, and make me appreciate.