Posts Tagged 'butterflies'


Meadow Fritillary (Boloria bellona). I just found a second hand copy of Butterflies Through Binoculars: A Field Guide to Butterflies in the Boston-New York-Washington Region by Jeffery Glassberg and used it to identify this one. The fritillaries can be rather similar to each other.Here, for instance, is a Varigated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia), which on second thought isn’t all that similar at all…

I was pleased to see that Glassberg’s book had many photographs taken in Westchester Co., NY, where both the first and third butterflies pictured today were spotted.This one is a little harder to pin down. In our parts, the Satyrodes genus includes the Eyed Brown and Appalachian Brown. The differences are subtle, but I think this is the Appalachian Brown (S. appalachia). Took this photo with a flash because of the darkness of the woods.

Both of the Meadow and the Brown were firsts for me. It’s always a thrill to discover something you’ve never seen before.

Nymphs, Satyrs, Buckeyes, Monarchs

Common Wood-nymph (Cercyonis pegala).
Little Wood-satyr (Megisto cymela).(One of the eyespot patterns is torn.)Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia).Monarch (Danaus plexippus).

All spotted earlier this month at Mount Loretto State Unique Area. The Little Wood-satyrs are early summer fliers, which probably explains why I’m not too familiar with them. It’s hot out there in the meadows of Mount Loretto and I don’t think I’ve been there in July before.

Papilio glaucus

Enjoy these images of an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail — which spent a good deal of time drinking (?) out of the surprisingly fecund cracks between the bricks in Prospect Park — as I slip out this morning from behind the Backyard and Beyond desk to get married.“Arrival is the culmination of the sequence of events, the last in the list, the terminal station, the end of the line. And the idea of arrival begets questions about the journey and how long it took. Did it take the dancer two hours to dance the ballet, or two hours plus six months of rehearsals, or two hours plus six months plus a life given over to becoming the instrument that could, over and over, draw lines and circles in the air with precision and grace? Sumi-e painters painted with famous speed, but it took decades to become someone who could manage a brush that way, who had that feel for turning leaves or water into a monochromatic image. You fall in love with someone and the story might be how you met, courted, consummated, but it might also be how before all that, time and trouble shaped both of you over the years, sanded your rough spots and wore away your vices until your scars and needs and hopes came together like halves of a broken whole.” ~ Rebecca Solnit, in The Encyclopedia of Trouble and Spaciousness 

Butterflies So Far

Duskywing. Horace’s, I think. Erynnis horatius. Spotted in Doodletown.American Lady, Vanessa virginiensis, NYBG. Have also seen: Mourning Cloak (harbinger of the thaw); lots of Cabbage Whites; and, just Friday, my first Tiger Swallowtail of the year.

In the President’s commission to investigate nonexistent voter fraud, packed with professional vote suppressors, the essentially strategy of the Republican Party is made frighteningly visible. This is where a traditional Southern strategy meets the grotesque novelty of Trump’s authoritarianism and goes national, following hard on the heels of GOP efforts over the last generation. With only a minority appeal, Republicans must prevent others from voting; it’s the only way to maintain power as long as there is fig leaf of democracy to hide behind. We’ll note in passing that Democrats did little to stop it and in fact helped it by subscribing to the right’s tough on crime policies. For the imprisoned have been stripped of their citizenship: this is what lies behind Confederate Jeff Sessions’s motivation for reviving harsh drug laws, a moral disaster but a political bonanza. Other strategies include purging voting lists through Crosscheck, reducing voting opportunities, etc. etc. Remember, there’s a vocal GOP faction that wants to return to the era of suffrage for the propertied-class only. You don’t have to dig too deeply in that shitpile to find those who believe women shouldn’t have voting rights either.

It was so many of his lies ago, but Trump’s claim that there were millions of fraudulent voters who voted for his opponent over him continues to have profound consequences for this process of choking democracy off at the throat. Of equal danger is control of the 2020 census, which will apportion congressional districts, already skewed towards rural reaction. The head of the agency has just resigned.

Still Skipping

img_1287What a late, endless fall. This picture of a skipper was from last Friday, and there was at least one other of these quirky butterflies still working these amazingly productive ground-hugging buddleia.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m going full Thoreau in these posts. The inspiration for this blog was both a naturalist and a citizen. How could I be anything but?


Euptoieta claudiaA Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) yesterday in the Buddleia pollinator-magnet at Green-Wood. First time I’ve seen this species here in NYC, although I’d seen one before in Arizona. They’re a southern species, uncommon here, but have been known to get up to Canada.

Monarch, Comma

Danaus plexippusSpotted two Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) in Green-Wood today.Danaus plexippusLike perfect little kites of joy.Polygonia commaAlso saw some Cabbage Whites, Orange Sulphurs, and several skippers. Pretty good for a day with temps in the high 40s at sunrise. There was also this Comma (Polygonia comma).Polygonia commaSoaking up the sun.


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