The weather has been warm - in the mid-70's now - so I've been picking up sticks and limbs in the woods, and when I went up front to unload my wheel barrow, a dark, medium-sized butterfly with yellow edging on the bottom of its wings flew straight up in an open area to my left. I didn't see the blue dots and I couldn't see a burgundy sheen, but it has to be a mourning cloak. The only other butterflies I know of with yellow edging are gold rims/polydamas swallowtails, and I don't think it's likely one would come all the way from south Florida to our colder climate. I imagine this individual was escaping the cold up north!
I know it's no big deal to see a mourning cloak to those of you in the northern states, but it's been ten years since I've seen one here. As I recall, it was late fall when I saw the other one, and it flew straight upward like this one did. Maybe that's a typical mourning cloak flight pattern? I wish he or she would stay here and a mate would show up. We have plenty of willows for them. My range map shows my area as being the southernmost limit, so that's undoubtedly why they're so rare here.
I didn't have my camera with me, but I'll keep it in my pocket when I go out from now on! It's supposed to be mild for at least another week.
Anyway, I wanted to share the news with people who I know will appreciate seeing a rare (for me) butterfly!