Arkansas Butterflies

Last week my coworkers and I left a cold, rainy Iowa and drove to Arkansas to take some classes.  It was warm and sunny down there, and after the classes were over we had a little time to ourselves.  Others went for walks or runs, and I found a small patch of woods and took pictures.

We did not have good butterfly weather here.  Arkansas is probably three weeks ahead of us on the season.  They have some of the same butterflies we have, like this silvery checkerspot.

The gemmed satyr is not found in Iowa, and this was a totally new butterfly for me–a “lifer” in terms the birders use.

We do have little wood satyrs, and they were thick while I was trying to find another individual of the gemmed satyrs.

Goatweed leafwings are occasional visitors to Iowa.  Prior to this trip, I had seen exactly one.  They were fairly common in the woods I visited.

But the butterfly I was most excited to see was the falcate orangetip.  This is a small white butterfly, sort of a mottled gray underneath.  The males have bright orange on the wing tips.  They are only out for a couple of weeks in the spring, and they are notoriously difficult to photograph.  I got a good look at this one, and several poor photos.  I continued to search for it after I lost this one, but to no avail.

It is difficult to maintain a visual image of an inch wide butterfly from fifty or a hundred feet away, while walking through the forest full of fallen branches, rocks, and holes.  You look directly at the butterfly, and navigate with peripheral vision.  With luck you do not break a leg.

But even though I did not get a good photo, this was another “lifer” for me.  What a thrill.


About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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