What’s This? No. 3
- Being Human
- Being Outside
- Earth and Sky
- Photography and Optics
- What's This?
This came from a woods road in Pownal, Vermont, on May 30, 2008. The first to name it wins fame on bryanpfeiffer.com and $5 off any of my outings or workshops. Keep reading to learn the answer and see full-frontal photos.
Added May 10: We have a winner! Tina V (jazzytinav) correctly noted the glitter on the wing of Early Hairstreak (Erora laeta). The ever-creative Sara Backer gets an honorable mention; see comments below. Others got this one right as well, including many who recognized the scales on a butterfly or moth wing. But Tina was first to identify it to species.
Never before has something so tiny made me drop to fast to the dirt – shock and awe in a butterfly. Name any other wildlife displaying mint green, orange and cobalt blue. Blue? You’ll see. This butterfly, the size of your thumbnail, is a prize wherever it’s found, mostly because it’s rarely found. It flutters and breeds high in the canopy of American Beech trees, tantalizing and out of view. But if it’s your day, if the butterfly gods are kind, Early Hairstreak will occasionally land and pose at your feet. You only need to be on the right dirt road at the right time of year, which is late May here in the Northeast. Yeah, Early Hairstreak is indeed an early hairstreak. Scroll down for a view of the upperside of this gem.