It’s always an amazement to us how different so many butterflies look with wings up versus wings open and this little Blue Copper is no exception yet just as perfect on the outside and on the inside so to speak. A subtle color or specific pattern on one side to avoid predation or perhaps signal toxicity to predators and a more showy side thought to function predominantly to signal availability to mate.
Late July and the birds are quiet, the landscape is parched in many places as drought has tightened its grip, yet along a creek where the last water flows wildflowers are still in bloom the flowers are topped with beautiful butterflies.
While the Checkerspot photographed above is a species we frequently see each summer the butterflies below are ones we either have never seen or perhaps never noticed.
The Black and White species above is anything but black and white sporting iridescence that glows like a rainbow in the proper light. In addition to being beautiful this species was also fairly small measuring about 0.75 inches in length.
Another small and iridescent species measuring just the length of a petal on a wild sticky geranium. This individual was difficult to photograph always darting from flower to flower. Luckily they found what they were looking for on this flower and stayed long enough for a photo.
The smallest butterfly we have seen this summer was perhaps this species which seemed to favor the white sticky geraniums along the creek. Perhaps half the size of the flowers petal, small indeed.
Now that August is near the wildflowers are quickly drying and dying for the season and along with the flower the butterflies go as well. Well, next summer is just around the corner.
Inching along from top of the plant down enjoying a meal along the way.
Caterpillars seemed so common in my youth but even while out and about most every day their numbers seem small. Perhaps it’s our location but maybe not. We were excited to find two species inching along on a late fall day. Both similar yet very distinct.
So mysterious and wonderful these creatures seem in a life of transformations.
The coneflowers are one of the later bloomers in our area and provide a snack for some of the other late season visitors. In this case it’s a cabbage white butterfly getting a sip of nectar on late summer afternoon.
Although we see a couple every summer the Lorquin’s Admiral not as abundant as many of the other butterflies we see. This individual was resting, wings spend, on a wonderful lichen covered tree. The red wings spots and bright red eye make this a unique sight and one we never tire of.