Saturday, March 1, 2008

Henry's Elfin

The search for Henry's Elfin yesterday at Lake Worth, Tarrant County, TX, netted (pardon the pun) 2 high-flying individuals out of camera range. Today, while carrying "stuff" to the compost pile, I noticed something fluttering in the window of our storage building.

Bingo!!! A Henry's Elfin. We have Redbuds (larval hostplant) just now starting to bloom and always have a few Henry's Elfins -- For my part, I usually consider them the start of the butterfly season here even though there are some overwintering species flying on warm Jan-Feb days. This one looks fresh. He was really happy to get out of the building and into the great outdoors. He told me so.

Henry's Elfin's are small, almost tailless, hairstreaks which are typically brown. It is a mostly eastern butterfly occuring westward to central Texas and the hill country. Just a guess, but looking a range map, it seems to stop at the caprock To locate the caprock - Google "caprock escarpment texas wikipedia". This individual has a lot of frosting. Don't you just love the striped antenna with the orange tips? Be sure to click on the photos for a larger views.

Henry's Elfin (Callophrys henrici)

While photographing the Elfin, I did stop and add to my 2008 Texas Wildflower Photo Quest.

Henbit (Lamium amplexicaule)

The Lamium genus is in the mint family (notice the square stem) and is mostly an old world plant. According to Wildflowers of the United States, this is a Dead-nettle, having nettle-like leaves but no sting. The upper lip forms a hood,which is crowned with magenta hairs and the lower lip is bent sharply down. Many of the small flowers are beautiful on close examination. It's a yard pest though. I'll leave a few in the back yard.

I did stop for one photo-op yesterday. A rocky outcrop at the edge of the lake. I will title this "Lizard Heaven". I will try to photograph this later in summer with green vegetation when the yuccas will be in bloom.

The rippled reflections of the clouds in the water give it a surreal feeling.

Lizard Heaven


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