Will I Ever Be a Real Butterfly Nerd?

Going through some of my remaining photos from Jekyll Island this afternoon and deciding which ones I really wanted to keep, I came across a few butterfly photos from this spring.

I think I decided this one was a Black Swallowtail (albeit a rather tattered one). I’m still not very good at telling the dark swallowtails apart.

This is a cloudywing skipper, of which there are a number of species. After comparing it to the plates and range maps in my field guide I settled on Northern Cloudywing as most likely. Honestly, compared my knowledge of butterflies a year or so ago I’m doing extremely well even to have recognized it right away as a skipper. I love how a butterfly that initially appears dull brown actually has some beautiful iridescence if you look closely (and yes, I pumped up the saturation on the photo slightly to show it off).

Finally, here’s a Phaon Crescent, which I was immensely proud of identifying all by myself with my field guide. Despite chasing them around quite a bit, I never managed to get a photo of one with its wings open, or on a more natural backdrop!

Some people get really into butterflies. They keep butterfly life lists and buy special close-focusing butterfly binoculars and, I don’t know, go to butterfly conventions. I don’t think I’ll ever be a true butterfly nerd in that sense, but it is a lot of fun to learn the names of the species I see regularly, and I’ve come along way since my first-ever post about butterflies – it was finding two dead swallowtails in beautiful condition that first hooked my interest. I’ve certainly gotten plenty of use out of the butterfly field guide I got at Christmas (the Kaufman one, if you’re wondering) and I’m packing it with me on our road trip next week!

3 thoughts on “Will I Ever Be a Real Butterfly Nerd?”

  1. Rebecca,
    I got started, in a VERY small way, with butterflies this spring, while sitting forlornly in the yard, waiting for the odonates to reappear. I hope you are posting your butterfly sitings to BAMONA (Butterflies and Moths of North America–www.butterfliesandmoths.org). You don’t even have to be able to ID them.

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