Phaon Crescent? Yes? Excellent!

Phaon Crescent Butterfly 3 photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

Major Fun comes when you travel to distant places, and begin your search for butterflies, familiar and new. That’s what happened on our most recent trip to Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in the Florida Panhandle.

After living most of my life in the northeastern USA, it’s happily often now that I am pleased to meet new butterflies. That’s what happened here, when we were working the Spring Unit of Big Bend, along a swampy area trail. Along came this butterfly, and it stopped on this leaf. No time to stop and study, so I shot away. What I did know was that he WAS a Phaon Crescent and not a Pearl Crescent butterfly.

He had those cream colored bands on his forewings and those wide orange spots too. They prefer moist habitat, and that’s exactly where we were.

A fresh, beautiful Phaon pleasing me with good photo opps on a fine northern Florida morning. Excellent!


Buckeye Watching

Buckeye butterfly (full dorsal), photographed by Jeff Zablow at "Butterflies and Blooms in the Briar Patch," Eatonton, GA

We here spend a lot of time in the field and in the garden. For most of us, the Common Buckeye butterfly is a familiar sight. They meet us in field, in gardens replete with clover and along trails through lush, moist habitat.

How many among us give them more than a passing glance? For us, this is one of those ubiquitous butterflies, seen often and mostly overlooked. Another Buckeye . . . .

Not me. I find myself stopping to examine each and every Buckeye I see. ?. I recall Buckeyes whose wing ‘eyes,’ epaulettes, bars and bands were fresh and Rich, Rich in color. I continue to want to see ever more colorful Buckeyes. A richly hued Buckeye makes me smile.

This one here, seen in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia bedazzled me then, and my Fuji Velvia 50 film captured beautiful, beautiful color.


Northern Pearly Eye Butterflies Prefer Moist Habitats Near Waterways

Northern Pearly Eye Butterfly at Raccoon Creek State Park

Excuse me? Where’s the butterfly? Oh, yes, there it is…why are you posting a photo with so much foliage and so little butterfly?

Well it’s August 29th and it has rained intermittently for several days at Raccoon Creek State Park in western Pennsylvania. The greenery is lush and the air is moist. Perfect conditions for Northern Pearly Eye butterflies.

Enodia anthedon prefers moist habitat in proximity to moving water. Our other post of E. anthedon shares the dorsal view of this masterpiece of browns, yellow and white spots.

I haven’t answered the opening question. Northern Pearly Eyes are akin to the U.S. Secret Service. They prefer to be in the background, they shun contact and you’ll only see them when conditions are right. They never (I’ve never) are seen nectaring at wildflowers, adding to the scarcity of encounters.

So on the August 29th, when we chanced to go out and scope butterflies, despite the very wet conditions, we groused to ourselves that the 37 mile drive has been unproductive…until we looked to the right, into the greenery and Wallah! this beauty of a secret agent.

The adrenalin pumped, exposures were made boom-boom-boom…and this image happily presented itself.

One never knows when setting out…