“I just need green. I need to wake up and see grass and squirrels. I don’t want to see skyscrapers.”
– André Leon Talley
There is arguably no better sense of fresh renewal than passing a rolling field of winter rye, its emerald locks rippling in the breeze. That lush green, vivid and energized, yet calming to every one of the senses, bestowing upon its gazer a new sense of hope and life. For most of us, we experience green on a daily basis…city parks, neighborhood wooded areas, the green of our own well-tended lawns. But have you ever experienced green through a butterfly? I mean…seriously think about that for a moment. It wouldn’t surprise me if your answer is a resounding “no.”
You see, butterflies clothed in green are pretty rare around the world. So you can imagine my surprise last spring when I caught this Photo Challenge favorite in Glen Rose while out on a hike with my son’s Cub Scout den. Scientists really don’t have a concrete answer as to why butterflies typically aren’t green, and even some that appear to be, like the Olive Juniper Hairstreak that I photographed here, actually don’t bear green pigment at all but rather employ a metallic refraction effect through wing scales that only reflect green light.
I appreciate and marvel the rare. I think most of us do. So there was no way this guy wouldn’t make the cut for the 2018 favorites. Clearly, his scales carry a lot of weight. 😉
All the best,
This butterfly species is about the size of a thumbnail. Caterpillar host plants include various junipers, thus giving the butterfly its name. This is an example of a species that is almost never seen with its wings fully open (although I caught a shot of that as well, surprisingly). My little guy is enjoying a sunny afternoon nectaring on wild blackberry blossoms.
[Check out Day 4 of the December Photo Challenge here.]
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