Between the late spring (read: mostly winter weather) and then insta-summer, it has not been a particularly fruitful season so far for butterfly pictures. In the last few weeks, though, more have been appearing and I finally had some success at getting the twitterpatted tiny flitgleams on film.
I took a walk to a local park on a very hot day. There wasn’t very many butterflies out and the few that were out were moving at just under the speed of sound. Finally, much to my relief, I found a shady spot … and there were the butterflies, feeding and settling on the bushes and flowers. Thankfully, that seemed to be the only spot where butterflies were holding at all still, giving me ample excuse to park in the shade and snap happily away.
First were a few stunning little azures. Their remarkable blue scales are almost iridescent, even in the shade and the hazy, humid light of a hot “summer” afternoon.
The next was a skipper, and I’m curious: which grabs the eye more? Left or right? I’m sure the skipper would want to know itself, because it seemed to be perfectly content to pose for multiple shots on the fresh green leaves in the area, fluffing out its antenna and angling its wings occasionally like a model trying different positions. I was less patient than it was, because it was in the sun. POTS, MCAS, pollen, and sun is rarely a particularly successful combination, so I “sprayed and prayed” and retreated back to my shade. Skippers are not easy to identify, but I think the few I saw were hobomok skippers, one of the earlier skippers to emerge in the spring. It has a distinctive wide black margin to its cheery gold wings.
The large shrub to my left was covered in white blossoms, and silver spotted skippers – the only ones I can identify with any degree of reliability! – were dancing in and out of the white clouds. Their orange markings glowed like stained-glass windows in a cathedral, accompanied by a choir of happy birds bathing in a nearby mud puddle.
Not pictured: cabbage whites, which were fluttering around but never deigned to pose for a photograph, and a mysterious black skipper that dashed through while I was explaining to a nice young couple what I was doing sitting on the path, clutching a camera and trying (apparently unsuccessfully) to look innocent and normal. 🙂