This has been a banner summer for butterflies in our region. Mariton has been especially active. Last summer, (probably due to a cool and wet summer) butterflies were almost rare. In fact, the weather probably caused gypsy moth populations to crash across the state. That was a good thing for oak trees, but not so good for plants that need butterflies for pollination (or for the people who love watching butterflies). This summer has been great for butterflies, (although most of us are lamenting the recent lack of precipitation).
Carole Mebus visited Mariton last weekend to see what was fluttering here and she sent me some of her photos. She was amazed at the abundance of butterflies. We usually think of butterflies here during the Milkweed and Monarda bloom periods. In actuality, there is always something blooming here during the summer that attracts butterflies.
One of my favorites that she captured so well was this Gray Hairstreak. I love the variability in the shade of this species. She took this interesting photo on the left with the wings open. That is something you don't always see (or so Carole tells me).
This Variegated Frittilary is a species that I have never seen except in photos. But Carole found them at Mariton.