Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Impressing Empress

Bluebonnets (Lupinus texensis) are in full force in our meadow now. This is the state flower of Texas, and won out over cotton, thankfully. Oklahoma chose Mistletoe. What kind of people would choose a parasitic plant for their state flower?

This striking butterfly showed up the kitchen garden today. It looks like an Empress Antonia (Asterocampa antonia) because of the two eyespots on the forward wing, but I'll have to check with someone for positive identification. I am just learning my butterflies, and bring only an eye for detail from botanical study to the lepidoptera field guide.

In 2000, Robert Michael Pyle and I were speakers in the same hall at a nature festival, and he kindly signed a copy of his Field Guide to North American Butterflies to me, saying: may butterflies adorn your days & flowers. They surely have!

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