Monday, August 06, 2007


If you have been reading Melissa's blog for any length of time, you are probably aware of the fact that we have become, well, rather butterfly obsessed! I never paid them much attention - okay, that's not really true - I was aware of them, but never gave them the attention I gave other things like minerals, flowering plants, birds, or even other insects. Well, Melissa's butterfly photographs have changed all of that!

I am lucky to work in an area where I can, truly, be "in the wilderness," out in the desert after a five minute drive from my comfy seat in my air-conditioned office. In addition, the museum has a nature trail which, though it needs some work, offers many opportunities for butterfly watching and photography.

After finally getting some nice shots, I wanted to share some of the butterfly photographs I have taken over the last few weeks. Though not quite as good as Melissa's, I do have the advantage of being able to go out into the desert on my lunch breaks and shoot what I want.

Another quick note. I found a puddling site on Friday. A puddling site is a location with damp soil where various species of butterflies "hang out" and dip their probosces ... proboscises ... well, their tongues, into the soil to draw moisture and salts. I was, quite literally, surrounded by blues, skippers, and the occasional fritillary as I sat on a rock and took photos. It was amazing.

Anyway, here are some of my recent photographs.

Tiny Checkerspot, these are everywhere in the mesquite-acacia scrub
behind the golf course.

Queen, very common in scrub

Gray Hairstreak

Lupine Blues, common at the puddling site at
the base of Texas Canyon

Marine Blue, Lupine Blue, and Reakirt's Blue at
the puddling site

Hackberry Emperors, they like to
perch upside down!

My favorite photo - a Reakirts Blue

Don't remember what this is, just a very odd beetle!

And of course, when you are out in the desert, watch out for these,
a 4 foot Western Diamondback Rattlesnake!

Other butterflies identified, but not photographed, at White Sands Missile Range include Black Swallowtail, Two-Tailed Swallowtail, Variegated Fritillary, Checkered White, Sleepy Orange, Clouded Sulphur, Cloudless Sulphur, Dainty Sulphur, Elada Checkerspot, Golden-Headed Scallopwing, Mournful Duskywing, Funereal Duskywing, Common Checkered Skipper, and Common Streaky Skipper. Oh yeah, and golden and fiery skippers, and too many other grass skippers to list now (besides, haven't got them identified yet!) As more are identified, I'll post them here.


Post a Comment

<< Home