Category: Butterflies (and Moths)

First Butterfly of the Year

Sandia Hairstreak, 2021 Edition

And it’s a Sandia hairstreak, which I found earlier today, exactly when and where I would think I would. But today was even more special than usual because, after I’d taken a number of photos, I hiked further, to an area I’ve always thought should be a great habitat for Sandia hairstreaks but where I’ve never seen any. My plan was just to sit on a rock and soak up the sun, a bit like a lizard. Just a few minutes after I sat down though, a small flying thing came and landed right on my shirt and, lo and behold! it was a Sandia hairstreak! Later it came back and perched on my camera case for a while.

So here’s the thing: I’ve always thought it’s a huge gift when a butterfly lands on me (or anyone else), and a number of butterflies have indeed landed on me over the years. But I don’t believe any of the small butterflies (hairstreaks, blues, or coppers) have ever landed on me before today. So I understand this as a benediction of sorts — perhaps something to add to the blessing of my first COVID shot a few days ago, and/or a reminder that the world is finally, for people at least, starting to reopen, however slowly.


Arizona Sister Butterfly

Arizona Sister Butterfly

I saw this Arizona Sister (Adelpha eulalia) amongst some turning scrub oak in the Pecos last week. It was another Arizona Sister, way back in 2002, that got me interested in photographing butterflies. For the most part, Arizona Sisters have successfully evaded me ever since that one lucky moment.


Great Spangled Fritillary

Great Spangled Fritillary

I think this is a great spangled fritillary but can’t swear to it. It might be a northwestern fritillary. Speaking of which, I feel the need to remind you, dear reader, that my IDs are far from authoritative; I’m a photographer, not an entomologist.


Two-Tailed Swallowtail

Two-Tailed Swallowtail Butterfly

Probably the most perfect two-tailed swallowtail I’ve ever seen in my life, hanging out on yellow sweet clover in Cienega Canyon (Sandia Mountains).


Queen Butterfly on Spike Verbena

Queen Butterfly on Spike Verbena

A butterfly I’ve never seen before — a queen — atop one of my all-time favorite wildflowers, spike verbena.


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