Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another tedious butterfly post

I was amazed to spot this butterfly today. Shocked, actually, enough to scare Larry, since I was pointing through the car window and babbling incoherently. It doesn't take much to make me speechless, actually, but he thought I'd seen dead bodies in the roadside weeds or something, till he saw it too.

It also got me to email my biologist brother, who says he even saw one up there in NC during the past few days, 5 hours' drive north of here. The long season of seeing last year's crop, which went on into January, was pretty spectacular, but it seems that early sightings of this year's generation aren't as weird as I thought.

According to my bro, they experience "cold shock," which is a good thing. Very cold temperatures actually give the chrysalis a bigger and better burst of hormones as soon as it warms up, and the butterfly can metamorphose and emerge pretty fast. I'll say. We've had only a couple warm days after a short but exceptional cold spell.


Sherwood Harrington said...

Oh, now, that butterfly doesn't look so tedious! A bit lonely, maybe, but not tedious.

Some of the camellia trees are in bloom here in Ft. Harrington, which means that our vacuous butterflies can't be far behind.

ronnie said...

Tedious! Are you kidding? Do you know how crap the weather has been up here?

Sometimes I feel like the butterfly posts and the rumours of blooming camellia trees are the only things keeping me alive...

Nostalgic for the Pleistocene said...

Nature here is often far and away the most interesting thing i can possibly blog about. A large predatory bird -- we have ospreys, various hawks, and even bald eagles -- is periodically casting impressive shadows on the ground as i write this, but he's quicker than my camera!

I love this place, but the storms are too big a "minus."