Face to face with that large black spot, it bordered by that orange-juice Julius ring, and I smiled, for this was a fresh Mallow Scrub-Hairstreak butterfly. Atlanta flight to San Jose, Texas, next that 4 hour-drive to our accommodation in Alamo, Texas.
The next days were filled with butterflies not seen in the New York City metropolitan area, or in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania or west of Phoenix, or Israel, or the Mississippi Delta or Toronto or Savannah or the Georgia Piedmont.
Found along the southeast corridor from California to Texas, I love the colors: gray, black, white, orange served up with bands, chevrons, arrow-heads, etc.
Seen at the National Butterfly Center in Mission, Texas near the border wall.
A Clint Eastwood Butterfly, as in Make My Day.
The beautiful butterflies descended onto the Tithonia (Mexican sunflower) blooms, reminding me of memorable celebrities appearing at awards ceremonies, fully adorned in fashionable gowns. With hair placed just right, their shoes, jewelry and accessories all contributed to near visual perfection. This time though, we were not in Hollywood, New York or Nashville. I was working those Tithonia blossoms, walking with eyes pealed for extraordinarily fresh winged beauties.
Many of the flyers were worn, would not cooperate. They did not pause to nectar, or sadly, were seriously birdstruck. Patience dictated that I not depress the shutter button on my Canon camera. Film is expen$ive and keepers require all the goods: good positioning, good light, good angle to the lens, good luck, good timing and . . .
Then she descended onto a nearby bloom. Oh, there was so much to like: Her blues were gushing. Those swallow tails were whole. Her blacks were solid and dense and orange spots were Florida orange. All of her white chevrons, spots and streaks were straight from make-up. This Tiger swallowtail dark form female was more than Cartiers, Tiffany, Van Cleef & Arpels, all in one.
Absolute beauty in the Butterflies & Blooms in the Brair Patch, now pied pipering butterflies to the center of Eatonton, Georgia for what, Virginia, the 4th year now?
Sophisticated dots, splashes, chevrons, and oh so much more in this common butterfly of the forest edge. Our state parks, county parks and U.S. refuges and parks all maintain cut paths that meander around forest edges. This is the chosen habitat of this butterfly, the Gray Comma.
A speedster, it another of those butterflies that will allow you to approach within 15 feet and will then fly 20 feet away. When you reappraoch, this routine is repeated. After 2 or 3 more episodes, it’ll fly up into a tree and 5 minutes later it’s back to where it started. Whew!
This one was sunning itself on a leaf at 8:50 A.M., raising its body temperature to the optimum for flight. And its a fast one.
Why has it been named a Comma? Each of the forewings has a whitish mark (below) that reasonably resembles- you guessed it: a comma!
I cannot recall ever having seen one nectaring on a flower. If they don’t drink nectar, how do they get their nutrition?