Saturday, April 7, 2012

More to see than just flowers

Today was a great day spent with great folks among great nature. I traveled over to Adams County to meet up with some like-minded folk for what has become an annual early spring gathering to check out the fantastic flora in that part of the state. As is often the case on outings like this, what was originally billed as a foray to look at spring wildflowers turned out to be much more than that. We enjoyed plenty of flora, to be sure, but all manner of fauna was appreciated as well.

This unseasonably warm spring that we've had has brought lots of butterflies out already. We saw many species today, many of which were in constant motion and impossible to track down with a camera. But there were a few very cooperative specimens, which I will share here.

An Eastern-tailed Blue, Cupido comyntas. Since this one was under the shade of a leaf the colors didn't come out as brilliantly as they might have if it were in the light, but you can still see that it's a charming little butterfly.

We came across another equally charming, but much more brilliant-colored butterfly right after lunch, and this one was a first for me.

This is a Juniper Hairstreak (or Olive Hairstreak, depending on who you ask), Callophrys gryneus. It stayed in this mud puddle for a very long time while we all ooohed and ahhhed over it and shot plenty of photos. Isn't it beautiful? The colors are so saturated that the photographs of it almost look fake.

Here, intrepid blogger and stunt butterfly handler extraordinaire, Jim McCormac, holds the hairstreak on his finger to give a sense of the scale of this tiny creature. I am happy to report that Jim's finger came out of this unscathed. No naturalists (or butterflies) were harmed in the making of this photo.

More fantastic finds coming up!


KaHolly said...

Delightful, as always. There are so many butterflies here, but they never land!!

ingrid @thefreequark said...

Heather, I came upon your blog through a comment at Orca Watcher. I'm glad I found this spot -- beautiful shots. I especially love the perspective image, of the butterfly on the finger. It's great to have that frame of reference on size.


Great photos, Heather. That Emerald Hairstreak was such a photo opportunity for everyone!

If you find that you enjoy the Prairie Pond Woods blog, would you mind listing it on yours? I know it doesn't deal with nature exclusively and has a spiritual focus at times, but some folks might be drawn to that. I'm just starting to learn how to "market" the retreat and what it has to offer. Seems I keep hearing...ask people. So I'm asking :) No pressure tho.

Thanks...cindy steffen

Unknown said...

"Heather of the Hills" has been included in this weeks Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new visitors here.

Heather said...

Cindy - I am happy to include Prairie Pond Woods in my blogroll!

Jerry - Thank you so much for including my site in your list.

kirstallcreatures said...

Hello I stumbled across your blog & was delighted to find this post. The recent weather here in the UK has been rain, rain, rain for the last couple of weeks & as a result there's been little in the way of UK butterfly blog sightings to catch up on. So I've really enjoyed catching up on US butterfly sightings, and discovering species that we don't have over here. The Juniper Hairstreak is just wonderful, thanks for posting. Best wishes, Linda