My eye caught it. My brain knew it was not a butterfly. Jeff’s brain calculated, Moth. Shoot exposures of it? Don’t ‘waste’ good Fuji slide film and add it to the cache of thousands of seen but passed mysteries?
At Ft. Indiantown Gap Military Reservation, less than an hour from Pennsylvania’s capitol city of Harrisburg. June 2015. My friends know the images of Regal Fritillaries that I scored that day. What a day, meeting the very rare Regal, in the sun, when the forecast the night before was: Rain.
Well here is what I did. I can’t remember ever seeing this Moth ever before. What is its name? Behavior? Preferred Habitat? Hostplant? Common, but little seen, the fate of night fliers?
Curt is about the only person I know who might recognize it? Phil? Jerry? Rose? Bob Pyle? Nah, what’s the chance of that (I did read like 6 or 7 of his books . . . [Which I recommend]).
Come back again soon, and we should be able to make a formal introduction.
Peter Woods shot back in near record time: That’s a pink-striped oakworm moth, Anisota virginiensis.
More background information would be much appreciated, if you have that valuable commodity!
Every quality butterfly field guide for the United States includes images of Speyeria idalia, the Regal fritillary butterfly. Some guides used their own images. Some sought permission from photographers and then credited photos. Years passed by, and Jeffrey wanted to meet this rare of rare butterflies, and capture good images of them, males and females.
I learned that their site would be open for 4 days in June 2015. I immediately made a reservation, and weeks later there I was at Fort Indiantown Gap military reservation in Lebanon county, Pennsylvania. If you’re planning on driving, it’s just east of our state capitol in Harrisburg.
And I am tickled pink that I did! Hundreds of years ago they flew within ½ miles of my East Flatbush street in Brooklyn. Not anymore, though. Regal Frits are gone from New York, gone from Massachusetts , gone from Virginia, and gone from West Virginia! Why? you ask? I do not know the answer to that.
The day I went rain was predicted, and instead I got a full day of sun. It was a day that I met, and approached the Regals. They allowed approach when they were sipping nectar on Butterfly weed. Sometimes they permitted me to come within 24 inches of their royal presence. I even followed a mated pair off the trail. You can see that photograph in an earlier post.
My proprietary image is one of the others that I have posted here. It was sunny with no wind. The butterflies were poised and many were fresh. I was thankful to be there, savoring those moments. That was good, very good. That was in 2015. What will we see this year, 2016?