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!


18 thoughts on “Butterflies and Skippers

  1. Ditto on the “fantastic” photos comments. How do you do that?? The question marks always flit away so fast–I can’t ever get those, though they’re in my garden daily. Skippers. We have bunches of those and I just call them little dudes. Little Dudes. Nice going with this post.


  2. Congratulations for securing yourself a seat at the big table. Well done on top of that. You are a Butterfly Whisperer perhaps?

    I read in some comments section somewhere that birders call the smaller, fairly numerous and common brown-and-something birds “LBJ”s. For Little Brown Jobs. I decided it applies pretty well to skipper butterfly sightings. I’ll see one of those mostly brown with white guys and wonder how different it is from the mostly brown with white guy I saw just before it. Or the one that comes along in 5 more minutes. Or the one I saw yesterday. They are as you noted, everywhere at the moment, having their skipper butterfly version of a wild rumpus.

    Thinking of them all as “LBJ”s is much less distracting.

    Liked by 1 person

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