One of the things I have found surprising about my butterfly big year is the difficulty I have had finding and photographing some normally common species. I got quick glimpses of a red admiral on a couple of occasions, but I haven’t seen one up close yet this year. This is normally a common butterfly and one that is easy to find. I haven’t got my question mark yet, after mistaking one for an eastern comma early in the big year, and throwing that sighting out. I am trying to get a photo that is clearly a clouded sulfur and not an orange sulfur, but that task is more about getting one with the wings open at the right time than it is about how rare they are. I have not seen a giant swallowtail yet.
I have yet to photograph a black swallowtail, or to see one close when I have my camera ready. However, I am about 98% sure that one hit my windshield as I was driving home from getting groceries today, and he left a little smudge mark.
I got a photo of this gray comma the other day in Swede Point Park near Madrid. I had bypassed it earlier, thinking it to be an eastern comma. But it sat still for photos and turned out to be a new species for the list.
At the Big Creek Lake canoe access I found this fiery skipper. It was mudding and visiting the fogfruit. This was an addition to the list.
I also found this Delaware skipper. This was already on the list but I liked the photo.
This one surprised me, and I did not identify it until I got home and downloaded the photos. This is a southern dogface. It is only rarely seen in Iowa. I have photographed the species before, but not in Iowa.
I have some things I should be doing instead of chasing butterflies, but I would rather chase butterflies…