|Brilliant blue, snapped by my intrepid companion|
Come enjoy them with me.
Here's another of the blues, also shot by my intrepid companion:
This would seem to be a fine example of Boisduval's Blue Butterfly, which make eastern Washington pretty.
On the other side of the state (and the other side of summer), we came across a butterfly bonanza in the Olympics. We'd come up for the geology and the alpine flowers, but the fields full of fluttering butterflies were a nice bonus.
We found this one along the trail:
I am teh suck at butterfly identification, but I'm fairly certain this is a fritillary of some sort. Maybe genus Boloria, even. I wouldn't swear to it. All I really know is it's a butterfly. It's purty. That's good enough to be going on with.
And the meadow up by the visitor's center was filled with butterflies, all sizes and colors.
I found this species fascinating, such a delicate, almost transparent white with garnet-and-gray markings:
It's very probably a Clodius Parnassian.
This one, I believe, is a relative of those little blues we saw at Summer Falls:
Yes, I know it's brown, not blue. But if it's what I think it is, it's actually a blue. It's a female, so it's brown. Clear?
Didn't think so. Look, just go read up on Boisduval's Blue Butterfly here at this link, and all should become sort of clearer. Boisduval's Blues are at least a good starting point for anyone who wants to figure out what the lady above is.
And then, if you're really enterprising, you can head over here and figure out what the delight below is, because I'm stumped.
We chased this swallowtail along the trail a bit, until it found a fine few places to pose:
I think it's an Ainse Swallowtail. I know it's a swallowtail for certain. See it's tail?
It's a little hard to see, but those elegant sweeping points are a dead giveaway for a swallowtail. Unless I'm wrong and it's a dead giveaway for something else.
He reminds me a bit of the ginormous yellow swallowtail my mom and I found in Oak Creek Canyon once, when I was a kid. It came home with us and lived in my bedroom for a while, hanging around on my curtains, and sometimes with the printed butterflies on my bedspread. One of the most beautiful things I'd ever seen. These days, I leave them where I found them - photographs are quite enough, thanks.
On our second day in the Olympics, we found quite a lot of little butterflies flitting all around the lake up by the dam. They were too busy to pose much, but we got a couple of good shots. I love this one, because it looks like the butterfly's stretching up to say "Oh, hai!" to the bug above:
And then there was the pretty orange one having a nice rest in the road:
It's probably a comma of some description. Gray Comma? Green Comma? Hoary Comma? Other people, better people, more detail-oriented people with a passion for taxonomy are welcome to weigh in. I'm just going to enjoy the fact that there's a butterfly species that shares the name of one of my favorite pieces of punctuation.
And while you're bedazzled by butterflies, you should head over to Chris Carvalho's site and check out his butterfly photography. Michael Klaas, aka @UncoveredEarth, directed me to him when I put out my pathetic plea for help on Twitter. Gorgeous, utterly gorgeous stuff.
Butterflies are wonderful. They're like living gems, hanging in the air. I hope we see quite a lot more this summer, going about their brief and beautiful lives.