|Carolina Satyr (c) High Virginia Images 2012|
There was a group of Common Mergansers on the Cheat; fifteen in total and close to the road. A female with her brood. I had to go down the road and turn around. I was in luck, they were still there when I got back. I needed to change lenses and was crouched behind some shrubs; feeding the deer flies and heard the dreaded scrape. A pair of kayaks were scraping there way downstream and went right through the mergansers. Oh, well. I took 2 dragonfly shots and headed on downstream. I got on Rt.72 and then Rt.38 and turned up Clover Run Road, still hoping for some fungi. Nothing worth slowing down for. The dogs were getting restless.
I pulled into there favorite squirrel and bunny chasing spot and let them explore. We walked awhile and I got tired of untangling Ralphie. I brought them back and tied them to the truck, so they could roll in the grass; which is one of their favorite sports. I sat there and scanned the area for something, anything to photograph while the dogs were entertaining themselves. Just a Red-spotted Purple was to be found, I guess it will have to do. The wind was picking up as I chased it around and I got some real bad photos. I noticed something was wrong with the pictures. I have a tendency to push some unintended buttons, when putting the new camera away. I haven't quite gotten used to it yet. The ISO somehow managed to get switched to 400 on this bright, sunny day. Not Good.
I was sitting on the tailgate, watching the beagles roll and fake fight and noticed a little brown butterfly, perched on a poison ivy leaf. There were 4 or so of these little brown butterflies flitting around. Well, I don't have many photos of little brown butterflies and the camera was now set up properly. So, I was in pursuit and of course at this time, the wind decided to pick up. I managed to get one decent shot of the little brown butterfly and by that time the dogs were ready for some ice-water. So we headed on home.
I looked the butterfly up when I downloaded to the computer and decided it was an Appalachian Brown (Satyrodes appalachia) that made sense and we have them in our area. Case closed, or so I thought. On Sunday, I was trying to identify some skipper photos (the birding community thinks sparrows are hard), try skippers. I found Butterflies and Moths of North America, a citizens science database for identification and sighting recordings (Really Nice). I submitted some skipper photos for a final answer as to what they were and I threw in the Appalachian Brown for their records. I received an e-mail shortly after identifying the skipper, along with a great notation that this photo wasn't an Appalachian Brown, but was a Carolina Satyr (Hermeuptychia sosybius), which until now has never been recorded and confirmed in the mountains of WV!! Well it has been, Now! What a great surprise. This butterfly has been found in the southern and western portions of WV. According to the species research I did, it has never been recorded and confirmed East of I-79.
Like I have said before, you never know what you may find; if you just sit and stare.
Posted by High Virginia Outdoors Photos by High Virginia Images (c)2012 All Rights Reserved