Thursday, June 11, 2020


            Change is certainly in the air. We have shifted from the Old Normal to social distancing, masks, anxiety and unemployment, and nobody with a functioning brain believes we will ever go back to that Old Normal – which can be a good thing if we choose to make it so. And while ugly racism is nothing new, seeing it on television is a change, and we can only hope that the protests lead to some profound changes in our hearts, or perhaps our collective national heart.

            Kim and I are also experiencing a change.  We are changing our focus from birds to butterflies. Because the squirrels and blue jays pretty much took over our bird feeders, we put most of them away, except for ones for hummingbirds and, briefly, orioles.

Female Baltimore Oriole

Male Baltimore Oriole in a Tailwind

Digging In

            Butterflies don’t tend to accumulate right outside our windows, so we have to go looking for them. It’s not easy. Kim learned a lot from her Florida friends, Barbara and Kathy, and from Jeffrey Belth’s excellent field guide, Butterflies of Indiana. (Butterflies are a bit vague about state lines.) We prepared a brief paper on butterfly photography, which Lisa will present as a PowerPoint to her local photography group. Most of what we said has to do with finding them – our technical photography knowledge is a bit sketchy, but Lisa can cover that.

            Anyway, here’s what we have seen on some recent excursions. Barbara, Kathy and Jeff - please correct our identifications:

 Mourning Cloak

Hobomok Skipper

Eastern Pine Elfin

Olympia Marble

Northern Crescent

Meadow Fritillary

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, Puddling

Another Eastern Pine Elfin

Juvenal's Duskywing

Northern Spring Azure
Hoary Elfin

            My son Phee asked, as a nervous joke, if Kim photographed any of them carrying a sign saying “Swallowtails Matter.” No, but they do.

Comment from Jeff Belth:
Nice post, and nice photos Kim! Two comments: I think the crescent might be a male Tawny Crescent. It seems to have some of that “two-toned pattern” of dark yellow and orange that Tawnies usually have. Compare it with my photos of Tawnies on my blog at A ventral view would help if you managed one. Second, I believe the duskywing is a Dreamy Duskywing. It definitely is not a Juvenal’s, it doesn’t have any white translucent spots on the forewing that Juvenals have. This one just has the gray “wrist” patch with a chain of dark spots. Dreamy and Sleepy Duskywings are very similar but Dreamies have longer palps, which this one seems to have.

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