Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mystery skipper

Aren't all skippers a mystery? The one skipper I can easily identify is the silver-spotted. This one (anyone out there have an idea?) I found feeding the other day on the catmint (Nepeta sp.) which was something of a surprise because most often this plant is loaded with bumblebees, but no butterflies. Catmints are very easy to grow (that's why I love them), so long as they have full sun. It can be a bit aggressive, but is easily divided and spread around the garden or among neighbors.

I don't know that I would recommend planting it in a place that is easily accessible to dogs - as the bees it attracts drive my dog just bonkers and one day soon he's going to get himself stung good!

*Butterflying* has become near as popular as birding during the summer months after migration has ended. There are many butterfly id books on the market, the most popular probably being the Butterflies Through Binoculars series by Jeffrey Glassberg. Great, technical book if you like that. I notice he's recently published A Field Guide to Caterpillars which I'll have to be on the lookout for! As a beginner to butterflies, I prefer something with big, glossy photos like the Stokes Beginner's Guide to Butterflies - I don't own it yet, but do have their guide to dragonflies and it is excellent.

"Just living is not enough," said the butterfly. "One must have sunshine, freedom, and a little flower."
- Hans Christian Andersen

6 comments:

Patrick Belardo said...

Is it me or is blogger really slow today?

I think you have a Broad-winged Skipper there. Any Phragmites nearby? That is their food plant.

http://www.rlephoto.com/skippers/broadwinged01.html
This site, by Randy Emmitt, is a great reference.

Susan Gets Native said...

It's not you, Patrick. Blogger is in slow gear today.

Jeez...I haven't conquered birds yet...and I don't know from butterflies, unless it's a monarch or a painted lady.

Linda said...

I am curious about your butterfly book recommendations - next time @ B&N - I may check them out esp the one with glossy photos - as a newcomer, the photos would be necessary I suspect. I have been a butterfly lover for some years now - delighting in their beauty. Thank you for sharing all of this - it has brought a smile to my face.

Laura said...

What perfect timing. One of those skipper butterflies landed on my car yesterday while I was on one of my "Jeep sits." Not having a butterfly guide - I was clueless. Now, I'm not! Thanks - and I'll pick up one of those guides you mentioned.

And if this shows up twice, it's Blogger's fault. My first post froze and then disappeared!

Patrick Belardo said...

Butterflies Through Binoculars is an awesome book. Definitely pick it up if you get the chance. Kenn Kaufman has a book out too, but it covers the whole US which can get VERY overwhelming, especiaally with the skippers.

The Stokes' books are really great too and a wonderful introduction to the world of butterflies or dragonflies.

LauraHinNJ said...

Thanks for the link, Patrick. Neat site, love that it gives you multiple views. There are phrags somewhat nearby, and marshy areas.