Monday, July 19, 2010

No Less Lovely

While those behind the garden gate
on fiery plumes bent low do sway
and sip the wine of kings and queens,
beyond them yet a copper.

Whose tireless flight past fields grown high
beside this ditch down dusty road,
her fare in one brave plant remains uncut.
Alas, she is no less lovely.

Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus, female

The Bronze Copper, Lycaena hyllus, is a butterfly primarily of open wet areas. Although adults will take nectar readily from a variety of flowers, the caterpillar must feed on water dock, curled dock or knotweed--wetland plants often in short supply when wet areas are drained or filled. With the loss of wetlands, this butterfly is declining in many areas.

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Kathiesbirds said...

Hello Nina! Love the poem at the begining. Great photos as always. And I so agree with you about our necessary wetlands! How we need to preserve them!

holdingmoments said...

I love the focus and composition of these Nina.
A beautiful butterfly too.

Adrienne in Ohio said...

I have never seen this butterfly before. Lovely images!

Nina said...

I had never seen it before either, Adrienne--isn't she lovely?
When I looked in a guide to discover what it was and read that habitat loss and wetland loss especially are contributing to its decline, I was reminded of a simple fact we often overlook: if we lose a butterfly's food plant, we lose the butterfly.

Butterfly gardens typically attract the showy swallowtails or monarchs and we've learned to include some milkweeds to support these popular butterflies. But do we realize that others just as beautiful are searching for the plant that is necessary for their reproduction? This is where diversity is so important!