After 21 years of searching, I’ve discovered one of the most elusive butterflies on the continent in my home state of Vermont. Will anyone care?
Wonderful news, wonderful essay. Congratulations Bryan. You deserve it!
"And once you gain that kind of intimacy with an animal whose linage goes back 100 million years, perhaps then you will realize that a butterfly the size of your thumbnail is not only a gossamer insect, but an expression of time and place." That line brought a thrill to my heart. With all the arguments for or against protecting various species, more and more I fall with the feeling that we don't need persuasion to know that we're all part of life together with these creatures, all relatives.
Wonderfully written. Thank you for your story!
Beautiful! So happy for you! And agree with all you've said. Thank you for finding him 🙏🏻
How wonderful! The Bog Elfins I have seen were living on trees in remnant bogs in two towns not far from where I live. Always it seemed like they were gifting me when I finally saw them going about their business. We are oblivious of so many of life's treasures. Thank you for reminding us. It its not a bad thing to slow down and look. Age helps too.
Beautiful Bryan. Last weekend I had a wondrous visit to Saco Heath. I swear there was a sign next to a black spruce talking about a critter that lives in its tips but when I went back to zMaine.gov they only talk about Hessels Hairstreak and Atlantic cedar. I just wish you’d been at Saco with me!
I read your essay Bryan and the words of Aldo Leopold came to mind: "There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. These essays are the delights and dilemmas of one who cannot." There's a gaggle of us out here who love wild things and love that you're here to report on the "delights and dilemmas" of wild things like Bog Elfins. Thank you.
Beautiful. In all my years of conservation advocacy, I've never heard the argument that protecting uncharismatic or unprofitable biodiversity was analogous to protecting free speech, supposedly a bedrock of American greatness. That is one powerful argument, and I can't wait to use it the next time I find myself needing to defend those in the Web of Life who need defense!
Congratulations Bryan! What a great find, your persistence paid off. I recently had an unexpected encounter with an Eastern Pine Elfin. A lifer for me. Your essay struck a chord :) on to your next quest......
Loved this piece! Recently started noticing all the tiny brownish/rusty butterflies near our part of the country. Treasures all!
That’s awesome! Hard work, perseverance, and a bit of luck. Congrats on the big find and the beautiful portrait.
I'm new on this app and I'm happy that this is the very first post that I came across to. I'm in love with this!
Do relatives of these butterflies close their wings parallel to the ground? I found one such insect (I’m not knowledgeable enough on the subject to know whether it was a moth or a butterfly) a couple weeks ago in New England. It had brown wings very much like Bog Elfins, except the wings were flat and parallel to the ground when closed (as opposed to monarch butterflies’ vertical closed wings). Not sure if it may have been a relative to the elusive Bog Elfin, but either way, I’m very excited for your find!
Just wish I’d taken a photo of the black spruce sign. Such a dreamy place.
Congrats for finding this elusive butterfly!
It took me nearly ten years to find a smooth-billed ani in Florida. The one I finally found posed for photos! Very satisfying.