Arizona Blues

Did you think that the onset of winter meant you were finally safe from my butterfly obsession? Well, you were wrong! Here in Arizona, where I’m visiting for the holiday, butterflies are still on the wing, and I checked two more species off my list yesterday at the Desert Botanical Garden. Both are fairly common, but since I have yet to do much butterflying out West, they’re new to me. As usual, it was amusing to be chasing after the tiny grayish butterflies most people didn’t even notice while other folks were admiring the big Queens and Cloudless Sulphurs. One woman stopped to ask what I on earth I was photographing!

Reakirt’s Blue – its host plant is mesquites, of which there are many at the botanical garden (and everywhere here, really).
Marine Blue – I like its stripy pattern. This one has a tear in its hindwing, making it almost look like it has an extra dot.

Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

5 replies on “Arizona Blues”

Our gulf fritillary butterflies are still transforming from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly. I just found a half-formed chrysalis on my garden hose (making tree watering a little more difficult than usual) and got face-attacked by three butterflies at once (two are pursuing the third). I love your blog, by the way. I’m living outside vicariously through you as I work indoors most days.

I have a soft spot for butterflies, especially the gossamer-winged butterflies! I love the subtle colours of two species you photographed. The stripy pattern is gorgeous! More Arizona butterflies, please!

Oh, and I don’t think the Marine Blue has anything stuck to its wing; I think there is a tear in the hindwing and what you are seeing is the upperside of the wing below.

Oh – I think you’re right! I didn’t even see that flaw in the wing when I was taking the photo, and then when I went through the photos on my computer I wasn’t sure what the heck was up with it. I’ll change the photo caption.

I’m with you, I absolutely love the gossamer-wings. I love how they’re so tiny you could easily pass them by but when you start paying attention to them they’re both diverse and beautiful. Today I got some pics of North America’s smallest butterfly, the Western Pygmy Blue – they’re not really good enough to share but it was still cool.

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