He is nectaring furiously on a flower bloom, some 1/2 of an hour from the Mediterranean coast. I realized that I was fortunate to see him, for the Caper White Butterflies appear in good numbers some years, and are almost absent in other years.
I was excited to find these fresh Caper Whites, their black venation pleases my eyes, and reminds of the artistry of the Cre-ator.
All this brings me to that word that I aspire to, to be an esthete.
An 8-minute drive from this agricultural road to the Mediterranean Sea coastline.
Imagine a butterfly that is tinier than a 2-year old child’s fingernail! Add to that it flits from tiny flower to tiny flower, frustrating the gentleman trying to capture a Macro- image of it. Where does it fly? Just a handful of inches (5″) from the ground.
I was determined to capture some OK images of such an Eastern Pygmy Blue Butterfly. We found them in 2 locations along the Georgia coast, Shellman Bluff and Jekyll Island.
Here then is an image of one of North Americas’s littlest butterflies, the Eastern Pygmy Blue Butterfly, seen in Shellman Bluff, along Georgia’s Atlantic coastline.
Tinier than a baby’s fingernail, it is.
Exactly! And that’s where I met this handsome example. This Salt Marsh Skipper was nectaring in the ‘butterfly’ garden at the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Townsend, Georgia. We were at the coast, just moments from the nearest Saltgrass, their hostplant.
They fly in the salt marshes of the United States, from Massachusetts, along the coastline all the way to Texas. They among the grass skippers. They’re easy to identify, with that long horizontal pale strip on their hindwings.
They are very kind, much tolerating the intrusion of the Macro- camera lens, to just inches from them. It seems that nectar near totally dominates their being, and my approach, no problem!
They ground me in reality. We sometimes get too big for ourselves, asking why this or that creature ‘deserves’ to continue its existence. Would not a nice development of fine homes be more important than that population of skipper butterflies that lived there for say, 200 years? Uh, NO. I’d say that there are some 200 or more good reasons to splat! that suggestion, as we do to Musca domestics on a July day.
‘Swish’ was the word we used, on the basketball courts back in Brooklyn, when your jump shot went through the backboard rim, smoothly, without touching the cold iron. Some National Basketball Association (NBA) players excel from way back from the rim, sailing the ball on a high arc, ‘swish’ into the rim for a healthy 3-points. Swish.
That’s exactly how I felt when we were on Jekyll Island, Georgia having located a colony of Eastern Pygmy Blue Butterflies. We shot away, at those fresh tinies, just inches from the ground. Backs soon protested the grotesque strain of leaning all the way over, time after time, to perfect our images of these “Locally Uncommon” blue butterflies.
I just surveyed our Media Library of images, and my eyes fixed on this one. Why?
Jeffrey Glassberg, in his superior A Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America shares that “Eastern Pygmy-Blues rarely open their wings while landed.” Look here and please smile, for this is a view that is difficult to enjoy, of a rare butterfly, found only on the coastline from South Carolina to Texas. Few see what you see here.