This was a fun little butterfly to photograph, she is the Common Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus). It is the most common hairstreak in North America, and while that is probably true, it seemed to me that it was anything but common in beauty and behavior. I first saw it flutter past me in a little gray shadow, just as the sun was moving behind some clouds. At first glance I thought maybe my dream of spotting a Mission Blue butterfly may have come true, but on closer inspection, I saw it was this one instead.
I should have known it wasn't the Mission Blue, as one hasn't been spotted in the East Bay, as far as I know, since the government began their efforts to try to revive the near extinct species. But this butterfly, and the Mission Blue share many of the same characteristics. Both are gossamer's, both are darkly colored, and both are small, with only about a 1 3/8 wingspan, or about the size of a nickle. The bush I found the butterfly in, had several different types of winged creatures, so I might try to revisit that place before too long, just to see if I can find some other types of gossamer's. So far this summer, I haven't made my goal of photographing the bumble bee in flight, but I have done well with finding some new butterflies to study and photograph. :) I am a happy butterfly seeker.
"Common Gray Hairstreak"
Union City, California
September 6th, 2007