Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Milbert's Tortoise Shell

The garden was full of bees and wasps yesterday, clinging to the late August blooms and being danced hither, thither and yon by the gusts sweeping through the garden as I raked there. This Milbert's Tortoise Shell was having some difficulty finding a sunlit perch not already occupied and then remaining there in the scouring wind.

Although they are one of the first butterflies to appear here in early spring, I seldom see these vibrantly hued nettle-loving members of clan Nymphalis other than in early fall, and it always seems to me that their orange and brown and wing touches of deep blue are a perfect expression of the burgeoning season. The Milbert's outer wings are blackish and rather drab, and it is not until the butterfly opens its wings that its glorious fall colours are revealed. My friend seems to be a lateral and a dorsal busker, sunning itself and warming its body for flight with wings both open and folded. Yesterday, it was having problems sunning itself in either configuration.

The image is fuzzy thanks to yesterday's wind, but the colours are simply magnificent.


Endment said...

How beautifully you describe your fluttery friend!

Jennifer S. said...

Wow, how beautiful!

Maya's Granny said...

What a beautiful creature it is. I live on a mountain side, with untamed forest and no garden. I love to watch the small creatures who live among the plants that march along with my exterior stairs. It is amazing what wild life surrounds us on that scale.