The ‘What Is This One’ Butterfly

Appalachian Brown Butterfly II photographed by Jeff Zablow at Prairie Fen Reserve, Ohio

Just yesterday someone on Facebook shared an image of this one, an Appalachian Brown Butterfly, and as is often seen, they asked all who saw, What is This One? We understand their surprise, when finding a butterfly that is solitary, rarely seen, and resides in wetlands. Folks explain that they’ve been out doing field photographing for butterflies for years, and they’d never seen this one before. I enjoy hearing this, for such people are excited, and it assures that they will go out again and again in the future, wondering what new butterfly they may see.

Me I too feel that way. Each year I discover new butterflies, and it is so invigorating to know that the sylvan, undeveloped habitat hold so many new finds for us to enjoy.

Add to that the challenges, as in . . . is this an Appalachian Brown or the closely related Eyed Brown? We were in the Prairie Fen Reserve in Ohio, where both of these species fly. After some minutes comparing the 2 species with this image, I’m sticking to Appalachian Brown, to await what Harry, Bob Pyle, the Other Harry, Curt, Phil, Rose & Jerry, Dave, Joe suggest?


Do I Know You?

Wildflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Raccoon Creek State Park in Pennsylvania, 9/5/14

It is a fine September for viewing the beauty of the natural world. Butterflies are flying, topped by Monarchs reappearing in Doak field. In this Southwestern Pennsylvania field, wildflowers are everywhere. The 100 acres are awash with several species of Goldenrod blooms. The Goldenrod, Bergamot and Joe Pye weed are sirens on the rocks, beckoning hungry butterflies, causing them to take breaks from their romantic pursuits and take nectar. That is to say, you’ll need sugar to continue searching for mating opportunities.

Folks wonder, why do you go to the same field so often? What can possibly be new there for you?

New? I often encounter new butterflies, new situations, new plants and new wildflowers. New insects, new things. New is almost a constant in an undeveloped habitat.

It was September 5th and my scan of the field zoomed in on these wildflowers. Do I know you? Have I seen these before? I didn’t and don’t think so. New!

I’m going to go to my wildflower field guides, and attempt to identify this dainty bloomer. If I can’t conclusively do that, then I’ll contact Shane Miller at Raccoon Creek State Park’s Wildflower Reserve. He is the ultimate resource for identifying botany.

Pete came back with our ID, Gaura biennis, Biennial beebalm. We just keep on learning, No?

New is good. New is stimulating. New is Fun!