It wasn’t all that long ago that I walked late summer meadows, mesmerized by the colorful show of monarch orange on goldenrod yellow. The event was predictable, and I took it for granted. The monarchs are mostly gone now, the curtain nearly closed. In later years, I read of the threatened status of Baltimore Checkerspot butterflies in a more southern state but, this time around, I did not take my frequent personal encounters with the species for granted. I captured everything – food plants, caterpillars, perching adults, feeding adults, and mating adults. A lesson had been learned. Butterflies are indicators of environmental health, particularly habitat degradation and loss, and many species are vulnerable. I now feel a sense of urgency when observing butterflies, and am compelled to seize the moment with a visual recording.
Currently, Tiger Swallowtails, a common butterfly in areas with deciduous trees and shrubs, are actively feeding on the nectar of Dame’s Rocket, a garden escapee that has become very prominent and widespread in natural areas. I searched the bloom for butterfly activity in mid to late morning (prime time), trying to capture elements of the erratic, fluttering flight pattern and vibrant coloration of these beautiful butterflies.
Click on an image and let’s go nectaring!!!
Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.