Shocked by How Beautiful a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly is in Raccoon Creek State Park

Dorsal View of a Milbert's Tortoiseshell Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park, PA

Regrets? I regret that so many of our southern USA friends have never seen such a Milbert’s Tortoiseshell Butterfly. Guides such as Glassberg’s Swift Guide to the Butterflies of North America have Milbert’s rare south of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota and the southernmost far Western USA. In Canada and the northern tier of the USA it can be found in June through October.

When you are fortunate to see a fresh Milbert’s, as I was here at Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania, you are near shocked by how beautiful this butterfly is. I was, and was again each of the few times I met one.

Nectaring on Teasel here, the oranges and yellows are starkly bordered bye nearly black, the 2 reddish epaulets on each forewing, the white spots on the forewings, the blue dots on the trailing edges of the hindwings, and more fit my sometimes shared recognition, that the finest jewelry produced by the studios of Tiffany, Cartier’s, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc. do not come close to matching the beauty of G-d’s finest butterflies. I’ve seen both and know.

Jeff