photograph - © Bruce A. Morrison
I've been trying to document the native plants on the pasture; spring has gone by so quickly and the spring forb (wildflower) blooming has zipped by too quickly!
Two evening ago I was out after the wind finally got manageable for photographing and was shooting some video and trying to get still shots when I could. There was a Monarch flying around quickly here and there but I didn't try chasing it...it was just to animated and would hold still for me. When I was packing it up and heading back to the studio I walked past a Viceroy nectaring on, of all things, Brome grass!
Well I wished it'd been a Monarch but it was so cooperative I took several shots and did some video of it as well. I hate admitting there is brome in the pasture but there isn't a prairie that hasn't struggled against that common/nasty cool season (Eurasian) grass the farmers embrace for grazing/haying.
You can almost always tell a Viceroy from a Monarch by its size - its about a third smaller than a Monarch. Also the Viceroy's hind wing has a line that intersects horizontally through the vertical veins - not seen with Monarchs...the resemblance is remarkable though, and even I have to stop a look more closely when they show up here...they're fairly common here every summer.
I was taken a bit by surprise with a butterfly this size nectaring on a grass in flower...maybe its not uncommon, it is just something I haven't seen before. I have seen small Skippers and those small Blues, along with Hover flies and such nectar on grass florets but this was new for me!
I'll insert a video of this Viceroy (The link is on You Tube at - https://youtu.be/v4K3v9Zrl_U if this blog doesn't show it for you)
Have a great summer out there and stay cool!!!