Sunday, April 12, 2015

Eastern Comma Butterfly

I was not feeling too much better today, but I forced myself to get outside before another week sitting at a desk all day.  It was a gorgeous spring day, in the high 60s and sunny.   Humans came out of hibernation today:  they were bicycling, kayaking, motor boating, riding motorcycles, walking and just enjoying the great outdoors!

I started the day in Westboro, first at the Westboro Wildlife Management Area, where I enjoyed Wood Ducks, Common Mergansers, Ring-Necked Ducks, Mute Swan, Canada Geese, and Bufflehead.  Model airplane hobbyists soon showed up with their planes, and I got out of there, not wanting to try to cross the field once they started flying.

I stopped at Heirloom Harvest CSA next, where I enjoyed tons of Tree Swallows, Eastern Bluebirds, Northern Mockingbirds, Killdeer, Song Sparrows, a Red-Tailed Hawk and an American Kestrel.  The tree swallows were checking out all the nesting boxes.

 Tree Swallow

Hopkinton State Park

After a lunch/rest break I took an afternoon walk at Tower Hill Botanic Garden where I happily discovered two species of spring-flying butterflies in the woods and some pretty spring blooms in the gardens.

American Robin

White-Breasted Nuthatch

 first Garter Snake of the year

 Eastern Comma

I first saw this butterfly right in the path, but it took off and flew deep into the woods before I could snap a photo.  Then, I continued walking and flushed another one in a sunny patch on the path.  This one, which I presumed to be the same individual, returned again and again to the same sunny area, so I was able to sit right down and take as many photos as I wanted.  I had to accept whatever position it was in when it landed, though, because if I moved at all, it would take flight.

This view allows you to see the white "comma" marking on the outside of its wing, from which it gets its name.

 Mourning Cloak

Both the Eastern Comma and the Mourning Cloak butterflies over-winter in Massachusetts in adult butterfly form.  They tuck away in a crack or crevice of bark, or sometimes under the eave of a house or shed.  That is why they are the earliest to be seen come a warm spring day.

 Birch Polypore

Thanks!  I'll take another day just like this one please, only with a clear head!

1 comment:

  1. It is interesting to see your spring flowers are three or four weeks behind ours. We only have daffodils still in flower here. I love the colours of the Tree Swallows. Great to see the butterflies. We had the first of the springtime white species appear last week, but the weather has deteriorated, so we may not see any more for a while.