Two days ago, while out in the garden with the dogs, this lovely butterfly landed on a stone and bathed itself in the warmth of the sun.
I had to run into the house to grab my camera, and to my delight, it remained in the same position for quite some time. I could easily have mistaken it for one of the thousands of leaves falling from the trees and landing all over the place. Fortunately, its delicate fluttering caught my attention before it settled down to catch the rays.
Oh, but I should have gone right to the 'source' before making a guess...my astute friend Randy Emmitt is an expert on butterfly ID's...even has a fantastic website, Butterflies of the Carolinas and Virginias: www.rlephoto.com...and he left a comment on my Facebook post (in fact, a series of very informational comments) ID'ing it as an Eastern Comma, not a Questionmark. Well, actually, that's not exactly what happened, because Randy first went along with my ID as a Questionmark...LOL!! Even he had to go and check his own reference page! He started commenting because I was wondering if the butterfly would die with the colder weather we were about to get:
It was really an interesting series of Facebook comments because then, Kylee Baumlee, of Our Little Acre, chimed in that she had a photo of two of them dancing on a tree and wondered if it was one kind or two different ones. She posted about one of them on her blog, here...but she posted a really nice photo of the two varieties on Randy's FB page:
Randy Emmitt please do Kylee Baumle
Kylee Baumle That was going to be my next question - if they travel together. They were definitely dancing around each other, then they took a rest on the tree.
|*photo used with permission|
So just remember: The comma marking is a very small white comma (same with questionmark) on the back side of the wing, can only be seen when wing is closed. The other method of ID is from the black spots on upper forewing. Comma has three black spots; Questionmark has four. And when in doubt, just call them Anglewings!
Also remember, Facebook is Really good for a lot of things besides worthless chatter. Karin, of Southern Meadows, also commented on the Facebook post but since I didn't ask permission to show her comments on my blog I've left those off...along with 11 other commenters! If you still aren't on Facebook and you are a garden blogger, you should seriously reconsider. It can 'sometimes' be a time-waster, but for the most part, it's a great tool!
What gifts have you discovered today? Until next time,
Words and photos ©Thanks for today.™, by Jan Huston Doble @ http://www.thanksfor2day.blogspot.com/
Not to be reproduced or re-blogged without express permission of the author.