I was out walking for an afternoon break, and I happened upon another wounded butterfly.
This time, the victim was a Mourning Cloak Butterfly (Nymphalis antiopa), which has a vast range across both America and Europe. It wasn’t keen on being examined, but the damage was heavy: the right forewing wasn’t moving at all, the right hindwing was torn up, the left forewing had a chunk torn out, and one antenna was completely missing.
For whatever reason, though, it loved just crawling on my hand and arm, and sat there rather contentedly as long as I wasn’t poking at it. It only briefly opened its wings to show the long, delicate, rust-colored hairs near its body.
I found a safe, shady spot for my new pal, but only after it hitched a ride on my hand for a good 10 minutes.
Butterflies are far from unusual in the wooded areas around my workplace. In fact, last year, there was a huge milkweed plant that produced a startling amount of Monarch butterflies. However, I think I’ve certainly seen more varieties of butterfly this year than I ever have, and it’s very strange that I’d stumble upon two wounded ones within a week of each other. I wonder if there are new predators about.
I swear I’m not tormenting butterflies for blog hits.