When Bird Watching Yields Butterflies…

Over Memorial Day, I was with friends in West Virginia at a farm.  We spent a considerable amount of time walking and bird watching.  Some of the fauna out in great numbers were small butterflies.  You could see them flying over the grasses and in general acting out their role as pollinators.  The other thing they did was gather around rain puddles, looking like pearly mussel shells.  On consulting my Guide to Familiar American Insects, I found that the little flutterers were probably Cabbage Butterflies.  They would sit drinking as you went by, unless startled by something directly, in this case, Ipod needing a drink as well.

You may be able to see a larger insect flying in the left of the picture of the butterflies in flight, appearing as a black dot.  It was a butterfly called a Mourning Cloak.  Apparently it hibernates as an adult, and is thus one of the earliest of the large butterflies to appear.  I had never seen one before, though it is common across the United States.

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