True Confession? Many of the Skipper Butterflies are so similar, that even now, their identity eludes me. Take this one for example. I found it at Eastern Neck National Wildlife Refuge in Maryland. This Refuge is very close to Chesapeake Bay, and its flora and fauna are vibrant and robust. It’s a bit more than an hour’s drive from Washington DC.
So, after working through Glassberg’s A Swift Guide to Butterflies, I offer that this one is a . . . Broad-winged Skipper, perhaps the only one I’ve ever seen. It was a bit large for a Skipper and was found near their preferred habitat, tidal marshes.
To find this one, you must travel to the coastal salt marshes and tidal marshes of South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana or Texas. This Eastern Pygmy Blue butterfly was met in Shellman Bluff, Georgia. They are beyond tiny, and the blooms they nectar on stand about 3″ above the ground. To shoot them, you must bend all the way down to them, and hold your tongue when, just as you get down to their level, they slowly fly to another bloom, maybe 4 feet away.
Your back begins talking to you, pleading, ‘Why, why?’ Me, I (foolishly) gave up on trying to capture images with my left knee down to the ground, on my Tommy knee pad. Big mistake when I threw caution to the wind and began shooting them with my stomach to the ground!
This image stands out, for as Glassberg notes in his A Swift Guide to Butterflies of North America, these smaller than tiny butterflies “rarely open their wings while landed.”
We were on Jekyll Island, and when I got to my hosts’ gracious home, there was a sizable tick clinging to the center of my chest!! After those tweezers carefully removed it, I sported a large red circle just where it was embedded, and days later, reluctantly went to an Urgent Care office, to be reassured that it was not a vector for serious diseases.
Uncommon view of an uncommon butterfly at some expense, yes Ma’am.