Sunday, June 1, 2014

CA hairstreak ~ 06/01/14 ~ Pinnacles

Here's another worn-torn individual shown nectaring on CA buckwheat.  It's superficially similar to the grey hairstreak, down to similar bite marks out of the hind portion of their wings.  Those tail-end bright spots sure seem to do their job in keeping these little snack-sized morsels alive long enough to get to the worn-torn looking stage.  Cool beans.  I wonder what the spots look like under UV for bird predators?  Girl?  I can't tell.

gray hairstreak ~ 06/01/14 ~ Pinnacles

Strymon melinus
(Shapiro and Tenney)

I have another photo (a bit too fuzzy to post) where there's a hint of barely there orange on top of the abdomen.  And, given how pointy the butt is, I'm guessing it's a boy.  Female gray hairstreaks have gray colored abdomens.  I'm glad to have him for the count, even if he's a bit worn.  Fresh grays are quite stunning and reportedly very common.  I first caught him on woolly yerba santa, and then he hopped over to CA buckwheat for another pose.

I noticed I'm developing a fondness for butterflies that tend to perch at about my waist-height, and at Pinnacles that usually means CA buckwheat and woolly yerba santa.  They're the ones I'm most likely to capture a natural pose with my point-and-shoot.  I've really enjoyed looking at my own macro shots, because I'm seeing details that are impossible in-person.  It's kind of a funny thing, I have an excellent dissecting scope with snake lights and several pairs of binoculars, but I don't like using them as visual aids.  It's just one of those quirks.