Karner Wannabe

July 12, 2007

If you live in the Great Lakes region you have probably been hearing about the Karner Blue butterfly. We are reminded of it every spring, like in this article from Monday’s Post Tribune which says that this species has decreased by 99% over the last 100 years, with 90% of the loss in the last 15. The Karner Blue was placed on the Endangered Species List in 1992, mainly due to loss of habitat.

In 2006 The Nature Conservancy of Northwest Indiana began a five-year program to reintroduce Karner Blue butterflies along the dunes, prairies, and savannas of the southern Lake Michigan area. This link will tell you a lot more. It is a short easy read about an amazing effort which includes planting 32,000 Lupine in key areas. The little fellers can’t exist without the Lupine.

Anyway, this evening while hosing down the flowers in the front of the house a little blue butterfly, about the size of a nickel, flitted all around me. It was pretty doggone exciting and that felt good. He finally settled on the hedge in front of the house long enough for me to get my camera and take some pictures.

almost-karner-blue.jpg

His wings are a little worse for wear, and he would not open them up until he took off so I could not get a picture of the pretty blue inside, but in the second picture you can see a bit of it on the tip

blue-wing.jpg

In my heart of hearts I wanted it to be a Karner Blue. I found many pictures. Some had gold spots, and then some did not. Some were bright blue and some were not. Then I found a nice little piece that said, and I quote, “Do not mistake the Spring Azure for the Karner Blue.” He sure had me going for awhile!

But you never know, one of these days it just might be the real thing. Maybe we need to plant some Lupine…

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4 Responses to “Karner Wannabe”

  1. mjd Says:

    Very nice pictures, I was in the process of explaining that my ex-student works with the Karner Blue butterflies for the Nature Conservancy. Then, I clicked on the link to the Post-Tribune article, and there is John Drake, my student.

    Let’s plant some Lupine; that is a lovely flower.

  2. daddy d Says:

    Very nice. I don’t know one butterfly from another. But I do think it is very good that you know the whole story and relate it to others.

  3. Susan Says:

    Sneaky little fellow. He’s lovely still the same.

    Maybe some day. Do you have that lupine planted yet? (like I know what lupine is!)

  4. Michelle Says:

    Gorgeous no matter what his name is!


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