It’s late morning in an expansive meadow in Rector, Pennsylvania. The Laurel Highlands is a beautiful and sylvan area in southwestern PA. Fittingly, this Meadow Fritillary is methodically nectaring on wildflowers. They prefer damp meadows, but as we see here, they also visit dry meadows.
This adult Meadow Fritillary is nectaring on Lance-leaved Goldenrod (Euthamia graminifolia). They are approachable when they are nectaring. Boloria bellona’s caterpillars feed upon those little violet plants that we often overlook. Violets are the host plants for many of the fritillaries.
Please make a point of seeing our post of the dorsal (above) view of a Meadow fritillary. The 2 photos complement one another. Although described in field guides as widespread, we see very few of them each year.
Shouldn’t she have already left Pittsburgh and be in West Virginia or Kentucky? It’s September 22nd and our Danaus plexippus is methodically nectaring on tall verbena flower heads in the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory.
Smart lady. Surrounded by expansive beds of verbena, zinnias, asters and more, she is preparing for the long flight ahead.
How fortunate is she to have little to fear from the animals about that would otherwise prey on such a vulnerable prey. Our recent Monarch butterfly post discusses why she has little to fear and why that is.
So there she is. It is likely that she has mated and already deposited her eggs on carefully chosen Asclepias (milkweed) plants.
She probably arrived safely in Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana. Which was her destination? I defer to our blog visitors from NABA (North American Butterfly Association) or Xerces Society for their Comments.
Did she, or was it her progeny that crossed to Gulf of Mexico and flew into Mexico? Again, Hmmmm.
What we do know is that she is vivacious!
For me, this opportunity and this image represent serendipity!