Northern Pearly- Eye Butterfly

Northern Pearly Eye butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park

Stealth. That’s what you need to approach a basking Northern Pearly-Eye Butterfly. This one was perched just right, affording views of both upper wing surface and lower (ventral) wing surface. It’s as if we positioned it for the best possible pose. So hold your breathe and follow the approach technique described in our Technique feature. We took this photograph on Nichol Road trail at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania.

This will be our 4th post of Enodia anthedon, and once again we share the richness of its chocolate- browns and cocoa on its wing. Eyespots on the dorsal (upper) surface broadcast their solid brown centers. The eyespots on the ventral wing sport yellowish rings with dramatic white pupils. The photograph evokes the kind of image that would work well in a chocolate shop in Sao Paulo or London or Tribeca or Seattle.

Meeting such a handsome Northern Pearly-Eye that is wistfully enjoying some morning sun, reminds you of the time that you went downtown and taken by surprise. OMG! isn’t that? Fill in the name of a uber! famous person.

Gender?  I think that this butterfly is male.  It has 4 eyespots on the ventral forewing and the forewings pointed at their front ends.

Remember that this is a species whose habitat is a wooded and especially moist locale. The butterfly is infrequently spotted.  When I do see it I must quickly check aperture and shutter speed, because it is almost always found in the shade. Photographing a Northern Pearly-Eye butterfly may even require a polarizing filter, because of morning dew all around. This one made it a bit easier, perched on a leaf with conditions being drier than expected.

A  morning maker, for sure.


PS. This photograph is featured in our poster for an upcoming presentation at Raccoon Creek State Park.

Buckeye Butterfly Resting in Phipps Conservatory’s Outdoor Gardens

Buckeye Butterfly at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

It’s as though the paintbrush has not yet dried. This seeming work of a brilliant contemporary painter is on the Junonia coenia, the Buckeye. He’s briefly resting in the Outdoors Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, steps away from some of America’s finest museums and universities. Bands, bars and eyespots whose colors have been meticulously chosen. You see that when a fresh Buckeye flies in, a smile crosses my face.

This is the one and only look that we get when we meet Junonia c.. This is usually the best view that we’re able to get. Though when Buckeyes are nectaring, it’s often easier to move closer. Buckeyes, like Monarchs and Ladies, migrate north in the Spring and fly south in the Fall. I’ve never seen what are described as mass migrations? Have you?

Florida enjoys 2 other species of Buckeyes, the Tropical Buckeye and the Mangrove Buckeye. Those are treats that I have not yet photographed. So much to be done, so much to be done.