My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

Spring Butterfly Day


I had a late start in getting outside this morning, which resulted in seeing a few birds. I worked hard to come across the Cedar Waxwing (CHECK) and Baltimore Oriole (CHECK) which were both first for 2007’s. I took advantage of the late day to search for some spring butterflies. I started my search in an area where the Toothwart (Dentaria diphylla) grows. I had hoped to find Allegany State Park’s only butterfly species of concern called the West Virginia White. What is interesting is that the NY State Natural Heritage Program (NYNHP) list Allegany State Park as the best place to see the West Virginia White here in New York State. If you head over to the West Virginia White cover page, you will see that someone (hint) has a photo credit!

West Virginia White West Virginia White on my finger

I did locate 5 West Virginia White’s (CHECK) in 4 different locations and one individual let me take some great photos of it. I was very pleased since it allowed me pick it up with my finger for an even closer inspection of it (which I am rarely able to do with this species). Before coming across the West Virginia White, I had two other great butterfly species. The Meadow Fritillary (CHECK) was found flying around my back yard when I was capturing the video of the Eastern Bluebird. I didn’t take the time to photograph them since I assumed I would find them again later in the day. That never happened but I did spend about a half hour watching 3 different individuals circling around my feet.

Meadow Fritillary

Old Meadow Fritillary photo from 2003

I was walking along France Brook Road for an hour and wasn’t until I was about to leave that I finally found the Spring Azure (CHECK). It would only let me take half dozen pictures of it but very pleased to have captured the upper side of this butterfly. The Spring Azure and West Virginia Whites appear to be about two weeks behind and probably behind because of the snow storm we had. According to my records that the Meadow Fritillary is right on schedule and they will soon be most everywhere!!

spring azure Spring Azure

14 responses

  1. Rick

    wonderful butterfly photos that you took.

    29 April 2007 at 11:29 pm

  2. 1blessedmom

    Such beautiful butterfly photos and it’s great to hear about your adventure to photograph them. Also, congratulations on the photo credit.

    29 April 2007 at 11:38 pm

  3. Didi

    Wonderful captures !
    I would like to see all of them.
    Especially the Meadow Fritillary

    29 April 2007 at 11:49 pm

  4. Wow. Gorgeous photos but that Azure one is spectacular!

    30 April 2007 at 2:21 am

  5. Great photos! I’m a big fan of the lepidoptera. Someday I’ll make a trip out there to see the WV White and visit the RTP institute.

    30 April 2007 at 9:26 am

  6. Congrats on the photo credit! Beauty!!

    30 April 2007 at 12:53 pm

  7. @ Rick – thanks
    @ Blessed Mom – Thanks and funny those things you find browsing the internet!
    @ Didi – They are all great and we have many meadow fritillarys flying around all summer!
    @ Liz, thanks
    @ Patrick – thanks and leps are fun! the WV Whites will only be flying for the next few weeks and then will be gone! Would be great meeting you!
    @ Lynne -thanks!

    30 April 2007 at 2:42 pm

  8. Awesome Tom! That’s cool about the photo credit!! Woo Hoo!

    30 April 2007 at 4:28 pm

  9. Beautiful b’fly photos, Tom – when I’ve mastered birds (yeah right 🙂 maybe I’ll give butterflies a try 🙂

    30 April 2007 at 9:23 pm

  10. Great photos!-especially like the Fritillary form 03.I’m going to try to keep a list of butterflies this year.

    30 April 2007 at 9:42 pm

  11. Oh my – so much beauty. The ‘credited’ picture is so lovely. Congratulations!

    1 May 2007 at 12:58 am

  12. @ Pam – thanks!
    @ Adam – I think you have mastered them, well the best that any of us can! Go after the butterflies, they are as much fun!
    @ Larry – thanks and do keep a year butterfly list!
    @ Cathy – thanks and was nice to come across!

    1 May 2007 at 12:48 pm

  13. Some great butterflies – including two that would be new for me. Great shots of them, too. Now I just have to ID the one that I saw today – can’t find ANYTHING in the guides that come close…

    1 May 2007 at 8:24 pm

  14. I use the Kenn Kaufman guide which is very helpful! Some species can’t be identified (like skippers) without a specimen in the hand!

    1 May 2007 at 11:05 pm

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