Butterflies and Skippers

Happy sigh. Now I can sit at the big table of Texas bloggers. I finally have pictures of butterflies.

Trigger Warning: If “look-what-I found” catalogue type posts bore you, turn back now. 

I think the Gregg’s mistflower overheard my comments from yesterday about them being invisible compared to the asters. Yesterday, they hosted an amazing butterfly party to show me the difference between a star and an A-Lister. The skippers circled the blossoms like starlets around a casting director. And I got to play paparazza.

Cutest butterfly face ever. I think this is a fiery skipper.

fiery skipper

fiery skipper

I thought maybe it was a moth because of its stout fuzzy body but nope. It is a skipper. I never even knew about this ‘skipper’ category. Curses upon my third grade teacher for leaving me so unprepared for the real world.

Skippers share both butterfly and moth characteristics. Like a moth they have small wings and a fuzzy strong body. But like a butterfly they have clubbed antennae instead of those feathery things on moths. One place I visited described the antennae as looking like crochet hooks.

Here’s another skipper. I think it is a grizzled skipper. Could be a checkered. Who knows. The pictures look identical to me.

grizzled skipper

grizzled skipper

There were a lot more skippers where those came from. One was a golden caramel colour. I think I saw a clouded skipper all chocolatey brown. Yeah, I know. Pics or it didn’t happen. But see those big eyes? They were easily startled and tough to photograph.

The bounty didn’t even end with the clouds of skippers. Oh no. I saw regular butterflies, too:

sulphur butterfly

some kind of sulphur butterfly

Looking down on the skippers from a nearby tree was this butterfly pretending to be a leaf. I’m thinking: this strategy might work better up north … But I was happy for its confidence. Once it closed its wings I could get as close as I liked.

question mark butterfly, closed wings

question mark butterfly, closed wings

This is what it looked like before it used its cloaking device. A white border! How unusual. I am sure all the fashion houses will be a buzz. They are called question mark butterflies. Personally, I am having trouble seeing this ‘question mark.’

question mark butterfly

question mark butterfly

Close by was a Queen butterfly working the polka dots.

queen butterfly

queen butterfly, closed wings

queen butterfly

queen butterfly, open wings

I passed through this area on my way to the grocery store. I was so lucky I happened to have my camera on hand!