Saturday, July 29, 2017

Juniper Hairstreak!

Juniper Hairstreak has long been at the top of my bucket list of insects I've wished to behold. I was tipped off to their flight a few days ago and was successful in my chase to find them. These are the moments when my heart surely skips a beat. Bejeweled in colors reminiscent of verdigris, my eyes were mesmerized by the iridescent hues of this creature. I could have lingered for hours...

As their name suggests, these butterflies congregate around stands of junipers and can often be seen nectaring on various blooms at the base of these trees.

At this particular patch east of Black Earth in Dane County, WI the Juniper Hairstreaks were favoring Queen Anne's Lace.

They were also occasionally visiting the undesirable invasive White Sweet Clover (ick). Note both flower species are considered non-native invasives in Wisconsin.

I found the Juniper Hairstreaks to be a fairly cooperative species as far as butterflies are concerned. They allowed close approach while they spent long periods nectaring.

This one was not so lucky to have encountered an Ambush Bug (asshole!).

And I was not so lucky to have picked up several chigger bites walking the ditches to observe the butterflies and other insects that were bountiful along this small stretch of roadside.

Thanks to Master Dale for the intel about their current flight. This encounter just might be the crown jewel of my summer! 

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