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Posts tagged as “Hairstreak”

The Natural World – Butterflies

By Tina Mitchell
While birding in Arizona, we had been searching for an hour or so, scanning among the treetops for warblers. Whenever I’d look down to give my neck a break, I’d notice colorful butterflies wafting lazily along. Why were we working so hard to see tiny flitting birds when butterflies – equally colorful, less frenetic – were practically tripping us?  Stunning colors, bold patterns, frequent pauses at or below eye level – how hard could identifying those lovelies be?
Yeah. Well. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Forewing, hindwing; upperside, underside; male, female – each different, often dramatically so. Once you try to get a good look, you realize that butterflies are hardly slow. Add the fact that our binoculars, so wonderful for birding, couldn’t focus close enough to provide even the slightest chance to ID a butterfly, and you have a recipe for mega-frustration.
So why did my husband and I volunteer as butterfly monitors on a three-mile trail through a variety of habitats last summer? I really can’t tell you.