They were rare sightings back in Pittsburgh. I don’t ever remember seeing Skipper butterflies in the New York City metropolitan area or in the Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.
Here in Georgia, they are that big word, ubiquitous, seen alot, in most places. They fly low, fly away on your approach, in sum, a very at arms length butterfly.
This one here, she was seen in the Butterflies & Blooms Briar Patch Habitat in Eatonton, Georgia. I see many more males than females, so this gal, preoccupied with lantana blossoms, was a nice capture, on a hot sunny Georgia morning.
We are always learning. Today I was very impressed with one of our most personable butterflies. Painted Ladies remind of that $100 word, ‘ubiquitous.’ They do seem to be just about everywhere, across these United States. Sure they are not seen everywhere everyday, but . . . they show up here, there and just about everywhere, at some time or another. I see them regularly when I travel to Israel, confirming for me their special status: the most widespread of butterfly species, around the entire world!
What did I learn today? Well, if you live in Ohio, where are your Ladies at this moment (December it is)? If you live in South Dakota, where are they now? Georgia? California? State of Washington? Oklahoma? North Carolina?
The truth about our Painted Ladies is, that they are a migratory species. Across much of the U.S. we are in winter now. Answer to this question? They are in . . . Mexico. Mexico. When Spring ’17 begins, they fly by the hundreds of millions north, spreading across America. Comes September, progeny of the Mexican generation takes to wing, and return to . . . Mexico. How do they do that? You tell me. Vanessa cardui. Vanessa!