Here’s what you get when the lighting is right, your camera light meter provides accurate readings, your timing is good: early morning and all, the wind is at its minimum, no fliers fly by to upset your butterfly, there are no hikers passing by and you are in the wet, rocky, forests that Northern Pearly-eye butterflies prefer.
The best look I’ve had at a Northern Pearly-Eye over those 12 years of shooting that trail. Do I still remember that time? Yes, Ma’am.
Raccoon Creek State Park, Hookstown, Pennsylvania, some 35 minutes west of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Nichol Road trail, alongside a tiny creeklet. One of my favorite of all spots. Missed much, from my new home in Georgia.
What do I think? I think that 1 in 71,209 Americans know this butterfly. Critics probably argue that 1 in 94,456 Americans know of it.
True, my interests run to butterflies, but true again, when hikers come along trails I’m scouring for butterflies, trails rich with butterflies, I always stop them and ask, “Have you seen any butterflies along the trail?” The answer is alway, “No.” I smile, and they continue along their way. They are not attuned to looking for butterflies, and just don’t notice them as they work their way along trails.
Kind of the opposite situation exists when I work trails and habitat in the western United States (or on occasion in the eastern U.S., where farmer have told me they have seen Cougars, and park rangers and park office staff always defuse any possibility that Cougars live east of the Mississippi River). West of the Mississippi, I am a bit distracted, for there have been times that my sense of being watch rises to its highest . . . .
This Harvester butterfly, Feniseca tarquinius is “LR-LU” (Locally Rare-Locally Uncommon). It is found nowadays in Parks, Refuges & Habitat Reserves, where Alder trees/bushes grow and running streams are not far away.
The more I get deeper into pursuing butterflies, the more it tickles me that otherwise heavily university educated, expert so in their own interest or pursuit, know zero of butterflies, and the Harvester might as well be a John Deere!
Raccoon Creek State Park in southwestern Pennsylvania, 8 hours by car, due west of New York, New York.