Butterflies Abundant!

The weather was still nice but noticeably hazy this morning. Plus, I got up later than usual, so I missed the sunrise, and I was struggling a bit to find anything photo-worthy. I did glimpse the Eurasian jay again, but it had no time for me today. I also spotted another stoat, but it too had other items on its morning agenda. Thus I was heading home already with just three pictures to show you when I came across a nice big patch of wild flowers, mostly thistle, and I figured I stop and take a look. Holy Moly! The place was hopping with butterflies. I’m sure it helped that the sun was nice and warm by then and the winds were almost perfectly calm, so just perfect for butterflies to be out and about.

First up, there was at least one and probably two peacocks, which we haven’t seen since the start of July.

European peacock butterfly (Aglais io)
European peacock butterfly (Aglais io)

Then there was a brand new butterfly for us, this tiny and stunning common blue (Polyommatus icarus), with a little piece missing.

European common blue (Polyommatus icarus)
European common blue (Polyommatus icarus)

I read that they’ve recently been seen in eastern Canada, and they like bird’s-foot trefoil, which is quite common in Estabrook, so we might be seeing them there soon enough, for better or worse.

Meanwhile, back at the wildflower patch in South Holland, there was also an intricate map, …

Map butterfly (Araschnia levana)

a small copper, …

Small copper butterfly (Lycaena phlaeas)

lots of small whites (as they are known here), which I see all the time but don’t bother to show you, …

Small white butterfly (Pieris rapae)

another speckled wood, sharing a blossom with one of the hundreds of bees in attendance, …

Speckled wood butterfly (Pararge aegeria)

a red admiral, …

Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)
Red admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta)

and this clouded yellow (Colias croceus), that made me chase it from one end of the flower patch to the other and back before it found just the right blossom from which to sip nectar.

Clouded yellow (Colias croceus)

It looks like the close cousin that it is to the clouded sulfurs that are common in Estabrook.

Lastly, here is yet another butterfly newish to us, a large skipper (Ochlodes sylvanus). It is not so closely related to the skippers we see in Estabrook, however, and you have to climb all the way up to the skipper family (Hesperiidae) to make the connection.

So that’s nine species, three of which are new to us, the skipper, the yellow, and the blue. It was hard to tear myself away. I actually walked back to my bike by the path twice and got drawn back in by yet another new flash of color before I finally extricated myself and rode back to my apartment for some lunch.

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.

5 thoughts on “Butterflies Abundant!

  1. I really enjoy each picture your send. I’m amazed at how you have an exact biological name for each creature: ( in animal kingdom and plant kingdom) — everything you photograph! Thank you very much for sharing and bringing me joy.

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