The habitat: Very hot, rocky terrain at Ein Gedi, a short distance (but too hot to walk it) from the Dead Sea. The HolyLand. I went there to find this butterfly, the Blue-Spotted Arab and one or two others.
I made a big mistake, by not renting a car. I walked those mornings from my SPNI Nature field house to the border of that dry creek bed. Male Blue-Spotted Arabs were here and there amongst the rocky terrain. They would not allow any approach closer than 15-feet. I did what I do, and scored some good images. Females? I searched for them, and found perhaps three.
Here’s the most sympathetic of those female butterflies. She appreciated that I was near flush with the sun’s heat, and that I was one of the good guys. Her yellows and stark black plus, were strikingly beautiful.
A female Blue-Spotted Arab butterfly, in one of the most arid destinations in the world, smack dab in the middle of the HolyLand.
Just remembering those days in Ein Gedi . . . sing to me.
This was a Wow! of a find. White Tank Mountains Regional Park, west of Phoenix, Arizona. I pulled over my rental car, and began exploring the dry, cactus rich land at the foothills of the mountains.
I was not sure what I might find in that foreign (to me) vast space. This Orangetip flew in and chose to rest here. Me? What? Aren’t you far, far, too far away from the northeast, to be a Falcate Orangetip?
I shot away, and was beyond Happy! to discover that I had met my First Desert Orangetip, and that he was as juicy orange as those the Orange Julius’ folks got at that corner of East 86th Street on New York’s tony Upper Eastside.
I look at this capture of mine now, with some satisfaction, that was so rich of color, smack dab in the middle of the bone dry desert.
How many of you have ever seen this super rare butterfly? Regal fritillaries exist east of the Mississippi River because they are protected. Yes, protected by the U.S. armed forces, on a military base. Their prairie/meadow habitat has been so heavily developed, that the only safe haven left is smack dab in the middle of Ft. Indiantown Gap Military Reserve, Pennsylvania.
When I heard that I could go there, with the invite of the Army post, I went. Thrilled, I was! to see this butterfly, and many other Regals.
If we, Americans, manage to maintain our heads, and keep this U.S. of A. strong and healthy, we will protect the Regals, our sanity and the home that we’ve worked to build for all of us.
I’m speaking for our butterflies, our neighbors, and our children and grandchildren.
Not the orange patch on the ventral hindwing near the base of the tails, but a red! What a pretty butterfly, discovered smack dab in the middle of Pittsburgh in the outdoor gardens of the world renowned Phipps Conservatory.
Strymon melinus appears in several of our posts. We’re not sure of the gender of this individual. We do know that like all Gray Hairstreaks it, for its own reasons, will pose motionless, thankfully. With tails intact, this lovely Hairstreak exhibits orange tipped antennae, red patches, and handsome gray coloration.
Enjoy our other Gray Hairstreak posts.