Little Brown Butterfly, I

Photograph of a small, brown butterfly

I haven’t been able to identify this butterfly.  It was at the Butterflies LIVE exhibit at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden so it may not be native to the United States.  If anybody knows the species I’d appreciate a comment.

Common Morpho, I

Photograph of a Common Morpho butterfly resting on a leaf

This Common Morpho was kind enough to sit still while I photographed it head-on.  It’s a large butterfly with brilliant blue on the upperside of its wings and brown with black and yellow eyespots on the undersides.

Blackberry Blossoms

photograph of wild blackberry blossoms in Shenandoah National Park, Virginia, USA
Blackberry Blossoms

The bees in Shenandoah National Park were busy pollinating blackberry blossoms growing along the Dark Hollow Falls trail when I was last there.

Goldenrod Crab Spider on Stem

photograph of a goldenrod crab spider on the stem of a plant

 

Sometimes when I’m hiking I like to stop, at seemingly random places, and look closely at my surroundings.  I might spend 5 or 10 minutes just trying to discover the little things that most people walk right by completely unaware.  If you’ve never done this before I highly recommend it.  Almost anywhere you go you will be amazed at some of the small wonders that present themselves if you just slow down and take a little time to become acquainted with your surroundings.

This Goldenrod Crab Spider was one such secret, hiding right in front of my eyes.  I stepped off the hiking trail into a small meadow just to see what might be there.  I looked around a bit and was about to move along when I noticed this spider sitting motionless, the embodiment of patience and stillness.  Goldenrod Crab Spiders will sit for long periods of time, waiting for an unsuspecting insect to come within reach.  You can frequently find them inside blooms using the flower as natural bait.

Damselfly on Ivy

photograph of a damselfly on a leave

This damselfly was patrolling a small, sunny patch of ivy when I encountered it in late August, near Richmond, VA.  It seems like a common species but I haven’t been able to identify it.