Saturday, March 17, 2012

Return To The Slighty Wild

Back to Hofflers Creek today for the first time since mid January. It is still unseasonably warm and now spring is with us with a vengence its time to look for woodland butterflies. And today they cooperated so long as Banished Jr. and I were patient. I was specifically hoping for some Falcate Orangetips (Anthocharis midea ). I photographed  a female there a couple of years ago but didnt see any males at the time.

The underwing is beautiful, but no male, so no orange tip. So back today looking for that very thing. They are smaller than the european Orange Tips but like them they dont seem keen on landing. I didn't get one good picture in all my time chasing them in the UK and we had to spend a deal of time stalking  this morning but time and the wet knees paid off with 3 decent shots. This is the best, catching the underwing and the  orange flash. The falcate part refers to the slightly hooked tip of the forewing.

And even better I got myself a new one. Watching for the little white and orange ones I noticed a number of LBJs (Little Brown Jobs). These too took some chasing down but one finally posed perfectly and I got the shots. I got the ID using Butterflies of Virginia and the Carolinas.

This little beast is Henrys Elfin (Callophrys henrici) and like most LBJs it reveals subtle beauties if you can actually get close enough. Little tails on the hindwings, those areas of grey-green wash. Just lovely and I love finding myself a new species.  

Banished Jr and I went to sit on the little pier out over Lake Ballard before heading home and got some nice views of the lakes turtles. The Painted Turtles in our own pond tend to be a little on the muddy side and not so 'painted'. But the lake is an old borrow pit and sandy bottomed. So residents here look like they have a fresh coat of enamel.

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