Butterflies and Caterpillars of Note

Summer of '08 has brought many close encounters with caterpillars and butterflies; here's a sampling.

Common Ringlet on daisy.

Mourning Cloak caterpillar. These caterpillars are "gregarious throughout development," sayeth my field guide.

Death of an unknown caterpillar.

Voracious Black Swallowtail caterpillar chowing down on fennel before being relocated to the more abundant dill patch.

Black Swallowtail.

Unidentified caterpillar.

Monarch caterpillar on milkweed leaf.

Shimmering remains of Common Wood-Nymph.

Some kind of Sulpher...

Unidentified caterpillar.

Black Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail enjoying sunflower.

If you've made it this far, you're ready for a little game. Check out the first pic below and test your critter-finding skills. Click on the photo for a larger version—see anything unusual?
If you looked carefully, you might have noticed this fellow (or gal). A great example of cryptic coloration (camouflage). A fine example, also, of how an eye-spot can present a scary-looking, don't-eat-me message to potential predators (that's not the caterpillar's actual eye). As you can see, the caterpillar has begun building its cocoon.This is the larval form of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, pictured earlier on the sunflower.

For what it's worth, my preferred field guides for this genre are Caterpillars in the Field and Garden (Allen, et al.) and Butterflies Through Binoculars—The East (Glassberg).


Recent Things

Hummingbird moth nectaring on monarda.

Fallen leaf.

Funky moth!

Glorious signage.


Eye candy in an unexpected spot.

Inch worm dancing on Black-eyed Susan (for Eva).

Drone fly (an insect mimic) on cosmos.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on sunflower.

Damselfly in meadow.

A neighbor's olde satellite dish.

Lily pollen. I hear tell you can make paint pigment from this stuff.


Joe-Pye Weed

"The summer is nearly over when the tall, conspicuous Joe-Pye-weeds begin to tinge with 'crushed raspberry' the lowlands through which we pass."--How to Know the Wild Flowers by Mrs. William Starr Dana

According to the same book, first published by Scribner in 1893, Joe Pye was an American Indian who cured typhus fever in New England using this plant.
This bee, above, made me think of Atlas with a pink world on her shoulders.

I believe the bee in the pics above is the red-tailed bumblebee. Not sure what kind of bumblebee is pictured below, but I welcome help with IDing it.


White Admiral

Recent Things

Tiny bee on a shallot blossom.

Bumblebee on knapweed.

Ghost in the woods.

Frog in puddle after heavy rain.

Bumblebee on burdock blossom.

Moth on lily.

A view.

A fabulous worm.

Pumpkin overrunning a lazy gardener's watering can.

Bumblebee on bee balm, a native mint.


A Walk After a Long Rain

"Hello, gorgeous!"



Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Fallen birch.

Fallen black walnut.

Wild cherry?

The earth is round.

"Adios, Amigo."