This has been an unusually warm year. Flowers are blooming about three weeks ahead of schedule, and the butterflies are early as well. As of today I have seen nine butterflies and four species.
I was able to photograph the ninth butterfly–a lovely red admiral.
Dr. Royce Bitzer has a very good web site on red admirals and painted ladies. He talks about the red admiral having distinct winter and summer forms in Iowa, with the winter form being distinctly smaller. I really noticed it on this individual–it was considerably smaller than the ones I see in the summer.