A Lifer!

butterflymomok(7a NE OK)June 23, 2011

As I related in my previous post, I was on a mission when I went to the TGP. I was in search of a butterfly I had never seen, and had tried to get a glimpse of the past three years.

It didn't seem to be going to happen. I'd pretty much given up, and was on my way out of the preserve. There was a wildflower meadow to my left as I was leaving. It was lit up with Black-eyed Susans, and an occasional stand of Bee balm. It was magnificent, and I slowed down, thinking I would check it out for bugs. As I came to a stop, there was a particular stand of Bee balm close to the road, and I could see a dark silhoette of a butterfly perched on one of the blooms. I took my camera and using my telephoto lens, checked it out. Could it be? My heart was beating a little quicker. I slowly removed myself from the car, and crossed the road. The butterfly lifted and flew to a more distant bloom. By now, I was pretty sure that I had found my little guy. And, you can see my photos below:

If you haven't already IDed this beautiful butterfly, it's a Regal Fritillary, Speyeria idalia. Heaven must be full of butterflies like this one, as when I saw it, I gave thanks to God. A field of wildflowers blooming, and butterflies on wing . . . my idea of the perfect eternal home.

Sandy

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wifey2mikey(7a Tulsa, OK)

Absolutely gorgeous.

~Laura

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 12:45PM
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misssherry(Z8/9SE MS)

What a fantastic find and great pictures, Sandy!

I looked up regal fritillary, and it says they're disappearing, restricting themselves to the tall grass prairies of the upper midwest. My field guide only shows them as occurring in a small section of OK in the northern part, so it really is exceptional that you saw this one. I love the dark coloring - what a beauty!

Sherry

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 2:33PM
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bernergrrl(z5 IL)

Ohhhhh! Sandy that is indeed an amazingly beautiful thing to see! One of the reasons I am ok with moving back to the Chicago area is because there is work being done there to reinstate them in appropriate habitats.

You must have just felt so out of this world!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 2:50PM
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caterwallin

Congratulations, Sandy! What a find! I doubt if many of us can say that we've ever seen a Regal Fritillary. I'm so glad that you got to see it.
Cathy

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 2:59PM
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jrcagle(z7 MD)

Unbelievable! Congratulations!

Jeff

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 3:12PM
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bananasinohio(6OH)

Fantastic! That is what all the preserving and restoration of native habitats are about.
Cheers,
Elisabeth

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 5:52PM
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KC Clark - Zone 2012-6a OH

I'm jealous of your butterfly sighting plus of your camera that can capture a great shot of a butterfly in flight. Wow!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 10:09PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Awww gee, thanks, KC. It was catch the butterfly in flight or else. I'm surprised it turned out. You should have seen the crazy old white-headed lady (me) running around after the butterfly. The blackberries were catching at my pants legs, and I kept looking for something tall enough to hide behind so I could sneak up on the dudette. I was so excited when I saw her, that I left my car with the keys in the ignition, unlocked by the side of the road. When a driver stopped to see what was going on, I was hoping they wouldn't take my car. I was just going to go across the road . . . It was a merry chase.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 11:54PM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

To all of you who made comments, this was a special butterfly. I'm thankful for conservationists who have the vision to realize how important our open spaces are. I'm also thankful for our local group of lep people who share with each other. And, I'm thankful my knees didn't give out during the chase.

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 23, 2011 at 11:59PM
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susanlynne48(OKC7a)

You're such a hoot, Sandy! I, for one, and I'm sure I'm not alone, CAN visualize the crazy, white-haired lady with a camera, running willy nilly in a wildflower field, chasing a butterfly in flight!! LOL!

What a great find! I know you were hoping to site one, and voila! - nature and God's gift gave you the opportunity! Such a beautiful butterfly image, too!

Susan

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 6:47AM
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bandjzmom(7 NWGeorgia)

Oh wow Sandy. What an AWESOME find!!! I really love the last pic the most. Congrats on your sighting, and I can totally relate to the running crazed through the meadow bit! I agree with you too about the eternal home idea. So much so, that I have directed my family to scatter my ashes about in a wildflower meadow when I am gone. :o) ~~Angie

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 10:29AM
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butterflymomok(7a NE OK)

Angie,

That's my wishes, too!

Sandy

    Bookmark   June 24, 2011 at 11:22AM
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