Addicted To . . . Spots

Gray Hairstreak Butterfly at Phipps Conservatory, Pittsburgh

I don’t know how many of you share this addiction, but for me it’s real and I can’t kick it. When I’m out there, on those magical trails, let a butterfly appear, and more often than not, I’m searching for its dots and patches and stripes and epaulets. Those searches are rushed, for how long will the butterfly stay, when will it fly off, at speeds that sometimes exceed 40 miles per hour?

Spots and such mesmerize me, and always have me hoping that I’ll be seeing the finest spots I’ve ever seen before. Sometimes they are!! and little a little boy, or a total teenager, I am totally zonked!

Other addictions of mine? None, I think, ‘cept my usual idiosyncrasies, which let’s agree we needn’t go into.

This Gray Hairstreak was seen early in the morning in the Outdoor Gardens of the Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Phipps is perhaps the finest Greenhouse Conservatory in the U.S.A.

She has beautiful spots, no?


One of 70 Hairstreak Butterfly Species


June 22nd and we’re in Rector, PA and whoa!, what do I see standing motionless on a leaf? Satyrium liparops . . . fresh, intact and almost regal in bearing?

Encountering a Striped Hairstreak Butterfly is infrequent and exhilirating. Remembering that they are superb models, posing for minutes on end, heightening the experience.

Our image captures the blue wash, red caps, ‘stripes’, tails, pookie eyes and those natty legs.

Compare this gent with the other Hairstreaks that we’ve posted, Gray Hairstreaks and Acadian Hairstreaks and you may, as I did, develop a fondness for these  Lycaenids.

Should you wish to take on yet another life challenge . . . set out to observe the other 69 Hairstreak species in the U.S. and Canada. That should keep you busy for a couple of years!