Cool Springs and Hot Butterflies July 06, 2007
Cool Springs is a new Ashland County Park District park that will be dedicated on August 18, 2007. It is also a great place to find dragonflies. And as much as I would like to blog those winged wonders (I may give in to the urge yet), while checking out the "Springs" today for an up-coming event, Ohio Dragonfly Conference, we saw not only great Dragonflies, but also some very blog-worthy butterflies as well.
There is an entire group of butterflies dedicated to the imitation of a dead leaf when their wings are closed. Note the ragged cut on the edge of the wings that replicates a leaf edge. These are commonly called angle wings, and include Commas, Question Marks and Mourning Cloaks. All of these magically disappear and blend uncannily into their surrounding environs when their wings are closed.
When they open their wings it is a FLASH of color. Even this closed wing photo gives you an idea of colors contained within. Too often I have taken the orange, yellows and browns of the magnificent Milbert's Tortoiseshell, Nymphalis milberti for granted. It has been a relatively common sighting for me, a native mid-Ohioan, since childhood. However many good butterfly watchers from Columbus and on south crave to see this remarkable member of the Brush-foot Family. So here's to Milbert, let's not forget how lucky we are to have him right in our own backyard.