In one of my recent posts I know I mentioned that it seemed that all lepidopterans had taken to a quiet spell around the yard, though we would have a friend visit on occasion. This dun skipper would be one of those friends to visit back on June 20th, however after our recent rain over the last week or so our lepidopteran friends have started slowly returning. I’ve found a few bean leaf rollers in the garden which means one of my favorite butterflies, the long-tailed skipper, should be making more appearances around here soon!
Thankfully growing the echinacea within the fence has allowed them to bloom and with that, attract pollinators. I can almost feel the heat radiating from these photos which were taken sometime in early mid-day out there. All of the plants tend to wilt for an hour or two at the highest point of the day in the Texas sun but the echinacea were performing their blooming duties and not even attempting to look parched. I think Forest and I had gone out to harvest a few things and I noticed the butterfly which in turn had me head back inside with our garden bounty and come back out with the camera. Lately I have almost always been keeping the 75-300mm lens on to take photos of whatever insects and because frankly, I’m lazy. I’ve been preferring the tight, closeup shots anyway.
Dun skippers are rather widespread throughout the eastern half of the US. As their name suggests, they are a rather nondescript grayish brown which makes them fairly easy to distinguish from other skippers that have markings on their wings. Their caterpillar host plants are various sedge species so keep that in mind if you’d like to attract the larval stage into your yard and garden. I know a lot of folks don’t really think of sedges as something they want to keep around, there are some weedy and invasive species out there, but there are quite a lot of really lovely and interesting native species that are attractive in the garden. I’ve been trying to slowly add some into one of my garden beds over the last year and have been pleasantly surprised with how they look.
In the meantime, I’m on the lookout for more butterfly species to appear around here.
Do check out that bee friend joining in on the nectar sipping in the second to last photo!