Saturday, July 7, 2012

Blue Hill Reservation Butterflies

Took my first hike to the top of Great Blue Hill via the Red Dot Trail (at 635 feet, it is the highest point within ten miles of the eastern coastline from central Maine south to the tip of Florida).  I hoped to see some butterflies along the way.  The Mass Butterfly Club includes Great Blue Hill in its Guide to Good Butterfly Sites, citing the summit, ski slopes and chair lift as the best spots.  I was not disappointed!  Although not all the butterflies were cooperative models (!), many were, and I also saw a nice selection of "firsts".  A great outing!

View of Boston skyline from the observatory tower on the summit

Banded Hairstreak

Horace's Duskywing (first sighting)

Summer Azure

Black Swallowtail.

We saw other large variety butterflies, but they were the most uncooperative models.  They almost never stopped flying and seemed in a big hurry to get somewhere else.  The above Black Swallowtail was the only large butterfly I caught in a photo all morning.

poss. Edward's Hairstreak (not sure of this variety)

American Lady

another Horace's Duskywing (prettier on a flower than a boulder)

Coral Hairstreak

Painted Lady (first of 2012)

American Lady

Painted Lady butterflies have four small brown circles on their lower rear wings.  American Lady butterflies have two slightly larger circles in that location.  That is the only way I know to tell them apart.

Striped Hairstreak (a first!)

American Copper

Coral Hairstreak

White M Hairstreak (a first sighting!)

The White M Hairstreak is named for the "M" visible on its wings just below the orange spot.  See it?

Little Glassywing

Gray Hairstreak

 Skipper (unknown variety)

Silver-spotted Skipper