A butterfly bonanza!

It was another cool morning, but maybe too cool for some critters. There was not a lot going on. Oh sure, the squirrels and rabbits were going about their business, and robins where everywhere, but the pond was empty until one female wood duck flew in, there were no deer to fear, and I haven’t seen the mallard ducklings since their big debut Tuesday morning. I hope they’re okay, wherever they are.

Luckily for us, there was plenty to see yesterday afternoon. Take this stunning male black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), for instance, checking to see if the dame’s rocket blossoms west of the southern soccer fields have any nectar to offer.

Or how about this red spotted purple (Limenitis arthemis) along a path by the river? Much more pleasing to the eye than the chrysalis we saw by the pond back on June 4, eh? Yes, I realize that it looks mostly black and blue, but I don’t name them, I just look them up online like an amateur. Check out how well it matches this picture, though.

By the way, the Pedia of Wik reports:

The red-spotted purple butterfly, also known as the subspecies L. arthemis astyanax, is a well known Batesian mimic. The palatable red-spotted purple mimics the unpalatable pipevine swallowtail (Battus philenor) with its overall dark wings with bright iridescent blue along the hind wings.

Note that, even though I managed not to capture the distinctive swallowtail, or lack thereof, that would make identification easier, you can still see that there is no little pattern of bright spots on the head behind the eyes that the pipevine swallowtail has.

If you’re in the mood for some warmer colors, instead, perhaps this red admiral (Vanessa atalanta) will do the trick. Admittedly, the outside cover looks a little dusty, but the inside? Ooh la la!

Continuing with the earth tones, we’ve got this little guy, a silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus), on a staircase landing just above the river.

I’d better stop there. You’re probably bored, and who knows when I’ll see something worth photographing again.

Finally, I am thrilled to announce the start of our calendar fundraiser project for Friends of Estabrook Park. The idea came from long-time reader, Anne’s mom, Joanne, who simply asked “are you going to make a calendar?” Genius, right?

Anyway, the idea, as you can probably guess, is to pick 12 pictures taken in the park that might look not bad when we blow them up, contract with somebody to print up a bunch of calendars, sell them at a huge profit, and then donate all the proceeds.

The Friends of Estabrook Park board voted to approve the idea last evening, so now we get to come up with all the details, such as which pictures to use, which holidays to include, how to handle the money, etc., for approval at the next board meeting.

I’ve started a new page to post these details as they become available. If you happen to have a calendar printer sitting idle in your basement, just want to get your order in now, or anything in between, shoot me a line at my email address, cleverly disguised on the contact page.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

2 thoughts on “A butterfly bonanza!

  1. Making and printing a calendar for fund-raising is a great idea!! The only problem is which pictures (only 12!!) to choose!! Many some months just need more than one picture.


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