One, about to begin its initial ascent.
The other, stuck perhaps its final descent.
November butterflies are great. It can get darn cold in the evenings here in the high-desert grassland fall. It can be incredibly windy in the far of West Texas.
No matter for the fragile cold-blooded.
I came across a Theona Checkerspot (Chlosyne theona) individual just entering its adult stage.
This butterfly's wings are wrinkled because it recently emerged. Its wings are still drying, warming, and blood reaching the veins.
The previous night was in the low 30s. Amazing. Newly reached adulthood in mid-November and found a small patch of sun under an Acanthus.
**By the way, I safely removed it only momentarily, then responsibly put it back**
In the end, I put it back where I found it; on that small patch of sun under a little shrub. It shook it wings vigorously from time to time. Eventually, it smoothed out the final wrinkled tip of a forewing.
Welcome to the world of flight; cold-blooded friend. Welcome to late November.
Now to an individual that has known this world. A world growing colder....
Tropical Leafwing (Anaea aidea)
An excellent butterfly species whose under sides resemble dead leaves; they are fond of crotons as young-ins.
This individual was very worn. The photos mask the fraying in the wings. Though, we can see through a section of missing wing, exposing a peek at the bright-orange upper-side of the opposite wing.
Leafwings rarely visit flowers, preferring tree sap, mud, and rotting fruit. There is sap on this juniper and we hang old fruit in a mesh bag from this location.
Interestingly, we first found this old bug proboscis-deep in our hummingbird feeder.
Two insects teetering on opposite ends of a flighted adult stage. I wonder what wisdom and sage advice this old leafwing might communicate to the young checkerspot. Or the young to the old?
Perhaps only that it is nice to have sun in November.
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