silvery blue nectaring upside down
He must have the hiccups he's trying cure? Or the violet nectar is very potent, and this is a drunk butterfly? Take your pick. I was entertained watching this lone blue butterfly land horizontally across the topmost petal, extend his proboscis, turn down towards the center of the flower (either clockwise or counter-clockwise), and stick his head in as far as possible for a long draught (enough for me to get numerous pictures), and then wipe his proboscis off on a petal before moving on to another violet. Wash and repeat. So often, butterflies are quite dainty about their sipping, gently using their feet to taste. Not this fellow, his proboscis led the way, and he was drinking with gusto. I was a little surprised he didn't ever topple over.
Johnny jump up / California golden violet
So, naturally, I tried to stick the flash up in there, too, to see what the fuss was all about. The violets are by no means tall, even though the flowers do, indeed, jump up away from the leaves. Holding the camera down there facing a 45° angle up is tricky. I'm starting to rue the day last fall when we discovered the macro feature on our 10-year-old point-and-shoot. I want to do everything in macro now. Macro, macro, macro! Mwahahaha... but, it burns the battery quickly. The dark nectar guides are stunning. I bet they taste sweet to little feet (and probosces).
cute butterfly butt (view from above)
As a final note, the famously extinct Xerces blue butterfly is considered by some to have been a ssp. of Glaucopsyche lygdamus. Then, there's also the federally endangered Palos Verdes blue butterfly (G. lygdamus palosverdesensis), which is being reintroduced, as Brent @ Breathing Treatment knows first-hand.