Not a Monarch, But a Viceroy

My husband wanted to jog in the Scotia Barrens, so I went with him. I walked along, taking pictures of the butterflies I saw. There didn't seem to be as many of them there as there were a few years ago, which is distressing. But then I stop and remember the little slice of butterfly heaven we experienced a few days ago at Sandy Ridge. Clearly, the butterfly presence can be highly variable, depending on where you go.

I saw a monarch or two, and then I saw this creature, which is NOT a monarch, though it may resemble one. This is a viceroy, my first of the year. It is smaller than a monarch, it flies in more erratic patterns, and it has a black line along the edges of its wings, which makes its wing patterns look all orderly and lined up. Viceroys, like monarchs, are unpalatable to birds.

Here is a resource that talks more about the differences between monarchs and viceroys. I also spotted a mourning cloak, which is a butterfly I often see in springtime, but seldom in summer. So that was a treat, as well. In case you had not noticed, I am making it a personal mission to document all of the butterflies I see; to capture them as best I can and put them on these pages to keep them safe for posterity.

The soundtrack song for this butterfly with the organized, straight lines in its wing patterns is this favorite from the 80s: Suzanne Vega, with Straight Lines.

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