We travel and we await all that’s new. Travel some 1,800 miles from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Phoenix, Arizona, and my visits to White Tank Mountains Regional Park, west of Phoenix delivered just that. How exciting to anticipate new butterflies, new plants, new birds and new lizards at any moment, any minute, anywhere! How much more fulfilling to find new, new, new.
Imagine. Imagine my surprise to find a ‘friend’ there, a butterfly that I’d see occasionally back home then, in Pittsburgh. I was working my way along an arroyo (dry river bed . . . Shhh! That I was not supposed to be down in, because of flash flood! risk . . . Angelic Jeff?) strewn with big rock. It was bone dry, and there were few, very few flowers at all. What flowers there were, were visited by butterflies and bees. I stationed myself at those flowers found, and here is an example of the reward I reaped, for patiently waiting on butterflies to arrive.
I was impressed much that the American Snout Butterfly was near identical to those back at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania. It was sort of nice to meet a ‘friend,’ so far away from home, and in a mysterious, a bit risky dangerous and drier than dry bone arroyo.
This Post here in part because of memories it elicited, I there visiting my Mother-In-Law, Eda Lehman A”H, who lived near there in Sun City West, Arizona, a Phoenix suburb. Eda Lehman was a slave in Nazi concentration camps for 5 and 1/2 years, somehow survived those killing fields, and passed away 3 days ago, having lived to 100 years of age. Butterflies can come with memories and such . . . .
Cruising through the hundreds of images in our Media Library bank, I stopped right here, at the enticing image of this native Coneflower, at Lynx Prairie Reserve Refuge, Adams County, Ohio. Why did I have to pause there?
We’ve set in a whole lot of coneflower, native and cultivar (truth be told. cultivar for the ‘color”) and today, with a high of 79F, we’ve been working in our 800 garden, front and back. I keep stopping at those same Coneflower plants, again and again examining the spent flowerstalks from last year, squinting my eyes to try and find any, any teeny, tiny appearance of new budding or leaves.
None yet. Nothing to be reported. We’ve been in this North Macon, Georgia for 11 months now, and last year, just as soon as we set Coneflower in, butterflies and bees visited, to reap the abundant nectar and pollen provided.
Waiting at 800, in late February. Georgia is amazing, BJ, Jim, Cathy, Jerry, Marie, Barbara, Phil, Lisa, Lisa, Donald, and y’all. I saw a butterfly today, my first for 2021, in late February. It zoomed by me, and I’d have to guess that is was an Admiral or a Painted Lady, but it never stopped . . .
It’s September 21st and I’m visiting family in Sun City West, a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.
As always, I manage to find time to photograph. White Tank Mountain Regional Park is a 35 minute drive from my host. Driving through ‘the Valley’ was very interesting, because at the time (2009) they were building thousands (yep, thousands) of new houses. Big beautiful houses and you know the rest of that story.
The White Tank Mountains loom over the flat desert and visually provide a very striking contrast. September in southcentral Arizona is very, very hot. I knew enough to arrive there very early, and to complete my hike well before noon. But it was quite hot. I brought lots of spring water. I found the terrain in White Tank Mountain to be parched and dry: very dry.
Even so, I did find some wildflower plants in flower. Those flowers were tiny and few in number, but they bravely offered their meager nectar to butterflies, bees and flies. This photograph suggests how devoid of moisture that habitat was.
This Arizona Powdered Skipper respectfully showed up and stopped to rest, enabling me to shoot this image. We were in a dry creek bed. Three visits there indicate that that’s the best bet for a location in which to find wildlife. How a Codatractus arizonensis manages in that heat and with such meager nectar possibilities is startling.