Tag Archives: butterfly

Lepidopterist Grammar Question

I stood next to the car  smearing on sunscreen.  My reflection shimmered in the heat in the dark-tinted windows of the car a few feet way.  I was leaning in my car to  stuff the bottle of sunscreen in the pocket of the door when I heard the hum of a window lowering and a high-pitched voice.

“Excuse me, What’s that?” 

I turned around to see a long manicured finger pointing at my feet.  I looked down to see a non-descript brown butterfly had lighted on the stones next to my tire. 


 “Is it a moth? Or maybe a leaf?” 

I squatted down to to peer at it.  “Nope, it has club antennnae.  It’s a butterfly.” 

 “What kind?”

Ugh. I knew that was coming.   “I don’t know. Maybe a Comma.” 

“A comma, like in English?”  I debated being a smart aleck and pointing out that most languages had commas.

“Yes, Commas have little white comma shape marks on their wings. ”  I hestiated, “There are Question Marks too.” 

“Like in English?”  

I sighed, “Yup.”   

 “Do they have little question marks on their wings then?” The woman tittered. 

“Uh huh.”

I hunkered down, took a picture then walked over to the car to show her the mark.   

“Will ya look at at that!  The things you learn”” 

I smiled and turned away as her phone rang and the window rose again.

On my walk, I found lots of butterflies.  Most of them were easily IDed; the Tiger and Black Swallowtails chased each other.  The Monarch ladies were flitting from milkweed to milkweed.  But there were also tiny confusing skippers and various whites and sulphurs that would not sit still long enough to give me a chance at Iding them.

Speaking of grammar, this is the only look I got at what I think is a Question Mark.  

   question mark

And this one, I think, is a Comma.   


But if so, then I think the top one must be a Hop Merchant?!?!?!? 

What do you think?


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Wordless Wednesday

Tiger Swallowtail

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Wordless Wednesday


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Common Ringlet

While I was in the Catskills last weekend, I spied a small new-to-me butterfly fluttering weakly close to the grass.  According to Brock & Kaufman’s Butterflies of North America it is a Common Ringlet and has expanded it range southward here in the northeast and is common.  Huh! The things ya learn.

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When the birding gets tough and birders go butterflying.

I find IDing butterflies much harder than birds.  And moths next to impossible.  But they are beautiful.


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Wordless Wednesday



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