As promised (or threatened, depending upon one's interest in these things), here are some of the gems we saw on Wednesday's trip:
Common (well, not to me yet, as I'm new to butterflies!) Wood-Nymph, on a poison ivy bush, I kid you not:
Question Mark (that's the name, not me questioning what it is), it refers to a silver "?" seen here if you look hard enough on the underside of the hindwing, just above the leaf in front of it, in the middle:
Here's one none of us should have to look up in a book, the familiar Monarch, actually laying eggs on a milkweed plant:
Now for the more obscure ones, a Bronze Copper, it's quite a beauty here, its hindwing is whitish- grey (almost looked pale blue, between you and I, my Merchandising background still haunts me) with an orange band, offset by black spots:
On the Sulphur front: after some discussion with John, here's an Orange Sulphur:
As we continued along the road, we encountered a group of Orange Sulphurs mixed in with Clouded Sulphurs, this is certainly not making it easy for a newbie like me to figure these suckers out (thanks, John!). The Clouded Sulphur is flying, versus the much wiser Orange Sulphurs relaxing on the road in the brutal humidex temps, remember??? Or maybe not, perhaps they've fused themselves to the road in the heat...
Another new one for me, a Columbine Duskywing:
An absolutely gorgeous American Lady whose underside is more spectacular than its upperside, IMHO, look at the intricate pattern to the left of the two large eyespots, almost like a beautiful tapestry, isn't Nature just wunderbar??
I feel like I'm only skimming the surface here with butterflies, as there is so much to see and I have so much to learn! It was amusing at times as the four of us would split up and discover something, and I would have to ask if they were in birding or butterfly/dragonfly mode so I knew what size critter to be looking for.
Birding continues to be my passion, but I'm now realizing that once again all I have to do is open up my eyes to see what's already out there and start looking at what I've been oblivious to for who-knows-how-long, not unlike where I was a few years ago with birds!
Oh, and I should also mention that I spent quite a bit of time on Wednesday chasing some stunning Swallowtail thingy that would not land, nor would it stay within my camera range, so perhaps this will be my next challenge??? Arghhhh, shoot me now, here I go again....