Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Here's the Mourning Cloak Butterfly, Nymphalis antiopa. It actually passes the winter hibernating as an adult butterfly. Now how cool is that? Notice that it has alighted on an extending beech tree bud. At this time, those buds are fully leafed out.

These were taken on wide angle day, leaving me darting around as I continually interrupted my prey's business.

For a couple of days, the weather's been wet and chilly. It finally broke yesterday, giving me the opportunity to get out around the lake. While I process up the results, here are a few shots from the start of the shoot, these from my front yard.


  1. Is that an eastern cottontail? We do not have them around here anymore for some reason- there was even an article in the paper over the weekend addressing this "bunny shortage". Nature does go in cycles, but I tend to believe it is because of something we humans have done to the local environment. Oddly, snow-shoe hares are quite common here, although I have only seen their huge unmistakeable tracks, never the hare itself.
    Beautiful blossoms- we are not that far along yet- we don't even have any full leaves yet!

  2. Yes, I believe it is an Eastern Cottontail. At least I think it is...

    Your comment sent me looking for that article you read and turned up a couple of Boston Globe stories regarding the dwindling population of New England Cottontail. Seems around here that they are taking a hit but that the Eastern Cottontail is doing quite well.

    I guess there are some subtle differences in appearances for telling the two apart, but it sounds that without experience that it might be tricky.

    See this document from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service for the whole story: