This looks a lot like one of the hairstreaks we have in Austin. You got a good view of its face in the second picture. The flowers, which I take to be boneset of some sort, also resemble some we have here.
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Yes, the flowers are Thoroughwort or Common Boneset-Eupatorium perfoliatum. When I first started shooting this the butterfly kept moving whenever I’d pick up the camera. But it did eventually get used to me and I got a couple of head on shots.
So much variety out there in the different species. These things are a lot of fun to watch and photograph, and then to admire later when others share their photographs. 🙂
I have a hard time with some species and this is one of them. I misidentified it as a Banded, which you may have seen in the notification, but learned that it is a Gray. Little tiny differences.
Great images Steve! Enjoyed seeing them!
Sweet captures, Steve!
I love seeing small creatures up close, as you show them. In real life, many insects flit around so fast that the subtlety of their beauty and—in this case—the punch of orange on their bodies go unobserved, so unappreciated.
I am glad that you are enjoying these, Linda. I find them fascinating and especially so upon close examination. Who would look at a dragonfly passing by and recognize those fine hairs behind the head? Or the eye facets? I will post more. 🙂
When I saw your original title, I couldn’t believe how closely it resembled the Gray Hairstreak I found on my patio. I guess there was a reason for that! I just learned that this is the most widespread hairstreak in the country, so it is one that we share.
I found another tiny bit of life on the patio tonight: a baby possum. It skedaddled too quickly for a photo, but now that I know it’s around, I’ll start leaving food in a place where I can shoot from inside the house. It’s only about the size of a tennis ball now. I guess the adult possum that’s been visiting for a couple of years found a friend.
It is the most widespread hairstreak here in Massachusetts also. There is just a slight difference in the “eye” between the Banded and Gray which I missed at first. I guess my eye isn’t as keen.
Maybe you have new “pet”. Possums are great at devouring ticks so you could train it to accompany you in the field. Ticks are having a banner year here so I’d happily invite one along.
Hairstreaks are just so pretty! And it’s on your boneset, isn’t it?
Yes, it is on boneset. It is amazing how many insects are drawn to it. Although I have photographed a few hairstreaks, every year the first one surprises me with its diminutive size. n my mind I remember them as being larger. 🙂
I remember you talking about boneset being an insect magnet last year. A humble, important plant. 😉
Amazing stuff, Steve. That second frame though, the intimacy of the angle is just perfect. Beautifully captured!
Thanks, Rob. I was surprised that the butterfly was as tolerant of the camera and got a few frames of the face. I guess it was drunk with nectar. 🙂
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