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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:45 PM   #1
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Default Summer "Wings"

This hot dry summer in East Tennessee has been ideal for butterflies. Here are a few sample shots from recent weeks...

Silvery Checkerspots have been especially abundant this year. Here are some enjoying nectar from Common Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed, and Mountain Mint.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:46 PM   #2
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Thistle blooms are full of nectar, especially attractive to Tiger Swallowtails.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:47 PM   #3
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This Spicebush Swallowtail prefers Bee Balm nectar, and sunning on the nearby path.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:48 PM   #4
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Now for some butterflies that don't go for nectar. We most see Northern Pearly Eyes feeding at animal droppings, or perching on (or even under!) various forest-edge plants.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:48 PM   #5
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Red-Spotted Purples are another species that prefers licking droppings. This one had just finished working on some Red Fox droppings...
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:49 PM   #6
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And this Eastern Tailed Blue was digesting a meal from some Mink droppings! Notice the little "tails" on the ends of the wings, and the eye spots on the underside of the wing, near those antenna-like tails. Notice also the notch out of the wing - where some bird tried to grab what he thought was the butterfly's head!
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:50 PM   #7
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Common Wood Nymphs may be common, but my photos of them are not. They are one of our shiest butterflies. Best place to spot them in late summer is near large oak trees, especially those afflicted with Slime Flux disease. The odorous ooze from the diseased trees is a taste treat to these butterflies.
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:50 PM   #8
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Will end with a few dragonfly shots. Blue Dashers are one of our most common summer dragons. But we rarely spot them while they are mating...
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:51 PM   #9
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Someone else must have been watching the Dashers. This Big fellow waited on a sunny walnut-leaf perch for quite some time. Then he dashed out and grabbed one of the Blue Dashers. You can see why they are called Dragon Hunters!
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Old Aug 31, 2014, 8:52 PM   #10
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Hope you enjoyed these late summer wings! Thanks for any comments & critique.
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