Orchids and Butterflies

Tom started the trip by taking me to see the very rare Ragged Fringe Orchid!

Tom started the trip by taking me to see the very rare Ragged Fringe Orchid!

Well I may be spending my summer here in the Valley but its been non-stop wildlife.  I went with my friend Tom Gagnon, butterfly and birder extraordinaire, to search out some butterflies, but first he had a treat for me.  He led me to a secret spot in Northampton where The Ragged Fringed Orchid grows.  At first it looked like any other summer “weed” until I looked more closely, really a very stunning structure!  Then off to look for summer butterflies.  Lots going on including dun skippers, a couple mourning cloaks, and a very rare hickory hairstreak!  Great day out!

Here's a Dun Skipper on swamp milkweed.

Here’s a Dun Skipper on swamp milkweed.

Here's a close up of swamp milkweed, very nice!

Here’s a close up of swamp milkweed, very nice!

Ah, those mourning cloaks are amazing.  Reminds me of Joseph's technicolor coat!

Ah, those mourning cloaks are amazing. Reminds me of Joseph’s technicolor coat!

Can you find the northern pearlieyed.  It lives in the deep forest instead of the edge.

Can you find the northern pearlieyed. It lives in the deep forest instead of the edge.

Here's a close-up.

Here’s a close-up.

And of course the hickory hairstreak!

And of course the hickory hairstreak!

Notice that the brown streaks have white streaks above and below them!

Notice that the brown streaks have white streaks above and below them!

Here's the gray hairstreak.  A less rare cousin of the hickory.  Notice the brown streak has white only on the top!

Here’s the banded hairstreak. A less rare cousin of the hickory. Notice the brown streak has white only on the top!

This red admiral may not look like much...

This red admiral may not look like much…

until it flashes you its epaulets!

until it flashes you its epaulets!

 

About John Body

I live in Western Massachusetts, in the incredibly beautiful Connecticut River Valley. I've been hiking, kayaking, and tracking wildlife throughout the Valley with lots of photos and videos that people may like to see. Whenever I travel I also take my cameras just in case I see great scenery or wildlife. My passion is wildlife conservation so I try to attend wildlife workshops and land preservation events (Habitat, Habitat, Habitat!). When I get a chance, I videotape the experts, they're just so knowledgeable and inspiring. I hope you enjoy my posts.
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