Exactly! And that’s where I met this handsome example. This Salt Marsh Skipper was nectaring in the ‘butterfly’ garden at the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge near Townsend, Georgia. We were at the coast, just moments from the nearest Saltgrass, their hostplant.
They fly in the salt marshes of the United States, from Massachusetts, along the coastline all the way to Texas. They among the grass skippers. They’re easy to identify, with that long horizontal pale strip on their hindwings.
They are very kind, much tolerating the intrusion of the Macro- camera lens, to just inches from them. It seems that nectar near totally dominates their being, and my approach, no problem!
They ground me in reality. We sometimes get too big for ourselves, asking why this or that creature ‘deserves’ to continue its existence. Would not a nice development of fine homes be more important than that population of skipper butterflies that lived there for say, 200 years? Uh, NO. I’d say that there are some 200 or more good reasons to splat! that suggestion, as we do to Musca domestics on a July day.
Dozens. I’d seen dozens of Gulf Fritillary butterflies in the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat, in 2016. Maybe more than dozens. Maybe hundreds. If the sun shone, as it is almost always, there Gulf frits are flying and nectaring and males scouring, scouring all corners for likely females.
I’ve seen males approach females, too many times to count. I don’t recall ever seeing one of those males ever receiving the time of day from a female. I would wonder about that. Gulf frits are very numerous in the Eatonton, Georgia oasis for butterflies, so there was no concern for the future, Gulf frits would fly, but how, when, why and where did they consummate their mission: to produce progeny?
This answered many of my theories. I noticed these 2, in an area of mixed perennials and native grasses and plants. They were almost motionless, facing one another, all movement passive and gentle. They remained there for at lease 5 minutes. It was I who left, left them where they were. You’ve got to know that this fascinated, and continues to fascinate me. We are sort of blowhards, for we boast of All that we know, yet . . . at the same time there is much going on, at our feet, that we know little about.
Wasn’t it Elvis (Presley) who embedded Love Me Tender deep into my brain, to remain there, sweetly? This little vignette of a photo evokes those aromatic lines in my mind. Capisci?
I was hot, quite hot on one of Ramat Hanadiv’s descending trails. It was morning, but it was h-o-t. No sweat as they say for this guy, a lesser Fiery Copper (Lycaena thersamon omphale), intent on sipping as much nectar as he can. March 2016, and Jeff searches of new, new butterflies, new looks, new botany, new, new, new. New is exciting and shareable, with you.
The challenge is to capture new images that deserve an audience. A big challenge that, because I’d prefer to expose 2o or 30 images of a beautiful new butterfly, and, 19 out of 20 times they just don’t allow that kind of friendliness. They flee, or they alight on a bloom or a left for a split second, and seemingly with effort are repositioned on a new flower, 17 feet away.
When this image returned from Dwayne’s Photo in Kansas, I was taken with the golden forewing and the patterned hindwing, and more.
Jeff, 10 minutes from Mishmarot (my daughter) and 10 minutes from dipping into his LL Bean knapsack for a Cocoa Loco bar (gluten-free). Jeff who loves Coppers, this one included.
Skipper Butterfly photographed by Jeff Zablow in Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida.
He flew to this blossom, and took his time, nectaring happily in the Florida Panhandle morning sunshine. August 2015, and that long dreamed of trip to Florida, destination? Big Bend Wildlife Management Area.
He was sipping nectar. I had to make a split second decision. Do I pursue good images of him, and then . . . encounter the usual difficulty in identifying which species of skipper he belongs to? Do I do that, knowing that skipper butterflies down there are difficult to approach, as I must with my macro- lens? Then, too, do I once again pour through my field guides, with the expected Huh? result??
Sure, I did. It’s Florida, you came because you are an esthete, or a naturalist, or curious, and/or all of the aforementioned positives. Anyway, perhaps Jeff or Phil or Rose or Robert himself will take the time to make a plausible ID.
I was in Florida for the 2nd time. It was gorgeous out, I was Blessed to be doing this, and this tiny butterfly was just a Shout Out! Life is Good, my winged beauty butterfly readers.