That River Grand Valley trip, a week at the National Butterfly Center, Bensten State Park and the nearby ‘Wall,’ dished up dozens of butterfly species new to me. A constant rush-rush-rush of butterflies I had never seen before. I mean, as I work to recall what we saw, and without instantaneous digital feedback, I am now and then gifted with a recollection, like the one I had yesterday, that a mental vignette: Not only did I want to see the uncommon Mexican Fritillary, but my luck cashed in, when I saw and shot away at a fresh pair of mated Mexican fritillaries!
So now I spend good time recalling so many of the butterflies of the USA that I have been fortunate to have seen, and shot.
High on the list of what Jeff’s seen is this one, a fresh Arizona Powdered Skipper, met just where it should have been, some years ago, in a bone dry arroyo, in White Mountain Regional Park, west of Phoenix, Arizona. I found this one, on a boiling hot day in the desert, in these low mountains, and if you can keep a secret, in the bed of the arroyo (where I actually should not have been).
I count myself among the 0.0014% of Americans who have ever had the pleasure of a meet-up with the Arizona Powdered Skipper. Am I a Lucky Boy, or what!
We pulled up in front of the house just 17 hours ago, at 2:50 A.M.. No records were set during the drive, but we heeded the requests of Georgia friends, and drove carefully through South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania. There were stops along the way, and several vain efforts to catch sleep, any sleep. (nope!)
Georgia again gave its all, 19 days long, and Petra and I loved it. She had the thrill of running free, especially enjoying the shore of Lake Oconne and the excitement of the Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton.
Butterflies were very abundant, a far cry from the much reduced numbers that we have been seeing in western Pennsylvania and western New York. One morning last week, I counted 27 different species of butterflies in the Habitat, all in one morning. That came close to my own morning record, that again in the Habitat in 2015, rejoicing with 29 different winged beauties before noon!
A 4-day stay in Shellman Bluff with very good friends was Butterfly Fun! I added lots of new species to my List. I can’t wait until I can share them with you: Eastern Pygmy Blue, Salt Marsh Skipper, Great Southern White, Orange Skipperling and Cassius Blue.
We have much fun and eye candy to look forward to, as my film is processed, scanned and ready to go!