I see one of these beauties once every 5 years or so near my vines by the front gate. There’s wild grape, crossvine and morning glories creating dense protection for small wildlife in there. They fly differently than butterflies with more “normal” wing design. I can tell they are they from the way they cast their shadows.
I felt well enough to go exploring by myself up to Pitt Spring on Sunday. I got out of the house around noon. It takes about 20 minutes to drive there and the parking lot was full. So I parked out on the road and almost as planned, this beautiful specimen, larger than the one in my vines this summer, was waiting for me, nectaring in the Bidens alba, my old friend and dependable butterfly plant, Spanish Needles.
I didn’t know this was the Florida State butterfly, or that it is the only butterfly to eat pollen as well as nectar. You learn something every day!
Bayou George, FL
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