Well, it’s been quite a start to the year. After blizzards hit Oklahoma and many
parts of the Mid-west and East Coast, Spring seems to be just starting. Although,
in some parts of the country, such as the Desert Southwest, fresh butterflies have
been flying for over a month.
Closer to home in Oklahoma, fresh reports are out with sightings of Henry’s Elfins.
It won’t be long until Falcate Orangetips and Olympia Marbles will be flying. Redbud,
the Oklahoma state tree and larval food plant of the Henry’s Elfin, is just starting
to bloom. Look for these thumb-nail sized beauties nectaring from and dog-fighting
around these trees. Olympia marbles are found more out in the prairies and seem
to always be on the move, although they will stop to grab nectar in quick sips. Falcate
Orangetips are another butterfly that seems to constantly be on the move and likes
to fly through open woods. Look for them to also stop for quick sips of nectar on
plants such as spring beauty.
Bryan was able to do a few more presentations. On 7 January 2011, he was at the
Jefferson Middle School in Oklahoma city where he gave a total of five presentations
to eager students. Each time, the two science teachers were able to combine their
classes into one room. So, they were able to get a two for one for each of the five
talks. The kids loved the programs and Bryan received several kudos from them as
part of a questionnaire the teachers handed out.
On 5 March 2011, both Bryan and Laura were in Muskogee to give a presentation to
the Friends of Honor Heights Park. This group is in the process of raising money
for an extensive butterfly garden and indoor butterfly house. Both Bryan and Laura
had a great time talking to the participants and we encourage people to check out
their website and help contribute to this very worthwhile cause. Like I said in
the talk, even if you can’t provide monetarily, and you live near the area, please
volunteer some time with the actual work on the gardens.
break which is Saturday and Sunday the 12th and 13th of March. He will give two
presentations on both days. Please check the March calendar for details. And if
March isn’t full enough, Bryan and Laura will travel to Tulsa, Oklahoma to give a
presentation to the Tulsa Audubon Society on 15 March 2011. If you are near any
of these areas, please stop in. All of the presentations are free and open to the
12 April 2011
The Butterflies of the World Foundation has been busier than ever since the last
update. Several presentations were given around Oklahoma with all of them getting
rave reviews. Bryan was at the First Christian Church of Norman, Oklahoma, on 11
March and the Wichita Mountains National Wildlife Refuge on 12 and 13 March for a
total of five presentations. Both Bryan and Laura travelled to Tulsa, Oklahoma,
on 15 March to give a presentation to the Tulsa Audubon Society. They met and talked
to a bunch of wonderful people who were interested in butterflies and serious about
A few more presentations and several butterfly counts have been scheduled, so hopefully
one will be in your area. Keep an eye on our Calendar as these events are being
added regularly. Also, some of these events require a registration or a small fee,
so please check the links or contact information provided on our Calendar to make
sure. The next presentation coming up will be at the Tishomingo National Wildlife
Refuge, Oklahoma, on 16 April. On 13 May we’ll be at the 34th Annual Wildflower
Workshop held in Chandler, Oklahoma, through the Oklahoma Native Plant Society.
And finally, Bryan has been getting asked the question what are his favorite butterfly
photos he’s taken? So after much thought, he’s decided to select his favorite photos
of 2010. Click below to see:
All photographs, artwork, text and website design are the property of The Butterflies
of the World Foundation (unless otherwise stated) and are protected under national
and international copyright laws. Photographs, artwork or text on this website may
not be reproduced in any way without prior written consent of The Butterflies of
the World Foundation.
31 May 2011
Well, word is getting out about The Butterflies of the World Foundation. More and
more requests for presentations are streaming in and we’ve been really busy since
the last update. Bryan gave several presentations over the last few weeks with one
at the Tishomingo National Wildlife Refuge on 16 April, one at the 34th Annual Wildflower
Workshop held in Chandler, Oklahoma on 13 May, and one for the Norman High School
in Norman, Oklahoma on 17 May. Bryan received tons of kudos from all of the participants.
There are many more presentations scheduled, so please check out our calendar to
see if we’re coming to your area. Better yet, contact us, and lets set one up for
Two new people have joined up with the BOTWF to give their time and expertise. One
is my great friend and colleague, Professor Ronald Alan Royer, and the other is Ms.
Caitlin LaBar. Please click on their names to read about them. The BOTWF is grateful
for their gracious donating of their time.
Bryan’s also been out with his camera and has been photographing many species. One
early spring beauty was a male Black Swallowtail that was protecting a little patch
of territory next to a woodlot. This species is the state butterfly of Oklahoma.
Bryan was also on the hunt for two, somewhat rare butterflies to Oklahoma. One is
the Eastern Pine Elfin and the other the Frosted Elfin. Because of having to dodge
rough weather, he got to the Eastern Pine Elfin area a bit late. With the help of
a local butterflier, they found about six of these thumbnail-sized beauties. Bryan
was able to get off a couple shots on one of them. As it turned out, the images
weren’t up to Bryan’s demanding standards, so they got chucked. Now that the timing
and the spot has been found, next year will no doubt be more successful. And just
as with the Eastern Pine Elfins, the Frosted Elfins proved to be illusive, at least
the adults. After again waiting for the timing around some vicious thunderstorms
with tornadoes, and coordinating with an expert who found them 20 years ago, Bryan
was able to find some private property with plenty of their larval food plant. He
obtained permission from the land owner and with the help of eagle-eyed Laura, they
found 18 caterpillars in less than an hour. No adults were seen, but at least the
caterpillars posed for photos and now Bryan knows where to find the adults next year.
For this update, Bryan included a few ultra high magnification photos of some butterfly
wings. These poor things got caught underneath some plastic (this was covering a
carpentry project) where they died. They were in fine shape, so Bryan took them
home for some photos. The results are at the right.
Currently, Bryan is processing several hundred recent butterfly images from various
areas in Oklahoma. So keep checking back frequently for updates.
Oh, before we forget, Bryan was in a short feature in Oklahoma Magazine about his
photography and his founding of the Butterflies of the World Foundation. This magazine
is complementary and is usually carried at Borders book stores in larger cities in
The BOTWF has been busy over the last two weeks with photography trips to various
areas of our home state, Oklahoma. The habitats are so varied here and consequentially
so are the butterflies. One great place to go is the Pontotoc Ridge Preserve located
south of Ada, Oklahoma. This Nature Conservancy property is a classic crosstimbers
habitat with a mix of pristine prairie and forest.
Bryan was there a couple weeks ago and was able to photograph several butterflies
including some Southern Broken-Dashes on purple coneflower.
Another great Nature Conservancy property in Oklahoma is Four Canyon Preserve located
in the northwestern part of the state, in Ellis County just before the start of the
panhandle. Bryan was there about a week ago and this was his first visit. The preserve
is 4,000 acres of mixed-grass prairie, rugged canyons, and floodplain along the Canadian
River. It was unseasonably dry, they had only received 3/10ths of an inch of rain
since October. There was a concern that there would be no nectar flowers. Our concerns
were put to rest on the first day of photography. Although not in huge numbers,
the flowers were blooming and they had butterflies on them. The Preserve is a skipper
paradise with both the rare Arogos and Ottoe Skippers found there. Bryan was able
to photograph an Arogos Skipper on the Oklahoma state wildflower, Indian Blanket,
Gaillardia pulchella. And he also got an Ottoe Skipper on a conflower with an Arogos
and Crossline Skippers along side. There were also a number of Green Skippers nectaring
off of a variety of flowers including Prickly Pear blossoms. It was comical to watch
them dive into the center of the blossom with their rear ends poking up. Besides
the cactus flowers, there were also a number of skippers using primroses for nectar
including the Dotted Skipper. This was a new species for Bryan to photograph and
he was able to get both dorsal and ventral shots of a number of individuals. The
sixth skipper to be photographed was the Uncas Skipper. They were utilizing purple
coneflower and the cactus blossoms along with their cousins.
Besides the six species of skippers that Bryan photographed, the Fulvia Checkerspots
were out in high numbers. Bryan was able to photograph several individuals, both
dorsals and ventrals, males and a lone female. This species was necataring mostly
on Paperflower, Psilostrophe villosa.
The Preserve has many other natural history subjects and a few crossed paths with
the front of Bryan’s lens. Some memorable ones included horned lizards, collard
lizards (seen not photographed), ornate box turtle, various bees, beetles and other
insects. All in all, it was a great three-day trip and Bryan can’t recommend it
enough to anyone wanting to explore it.
Besides the extensive photography, the BOTWF did a presentation for the Lexington
Elementary School in Lexington, Oklahoma. This was part of their summer camp. There
were approximately 50 kids ranging from four to nine years old. They eagerly watched
a quick multimedia presentation by Bryan and during the question and answer period
had some remarkable stories and observations. This is our next generation and they
will have a lot of things to deal with in 20 or so years including the population
of the earth and other environmental crises. After the presentation, Laura prepared
a great craft project and the kids all made ‘stained glass’ butterflies.
June is a very busy month for the BOTWF. A few presentations are scheduled for the
Oklahoma City and Norman area. These are free and open to the public. Please check
our June calendar for dates and times and we hope to see you there!
As usual, the Butterflies of the World Foundation has been busy since the last update.
Most of the work over the last week and a half has been obtaining more images for
our programs and to be added to the website. Since Bryan’s preferred medium is slide
film, the shot rolls must be sent for processing. Then
once the slides arrive they are ruthlessly edited, properly labelled with common
name, scientific name, location data and date, then each image that is to be used
in programs or the website are high resolution scanned. Once converted to digital
format, the images are given a touch of levels adjustment and rarely a curves adjustment
then they are sized for web use and/or multimedia program use.
The Butterflies of the World has been busy over the last four weeks. A total of
four presentations were given to various groups that included the Oklahoma City Audubon
Society, the Red Earth Group Sierra Club, The Oklahoma Department of Environmental
Quality, and the Cimarron Group Sierra Club. All of them were very well received
and were filled with wonderful discussion after the presentations. Currently, there
are several more presentations getting coordinated for this fall and spring 2012,
so keep a lookout on our calendar.
Unfortunately, due to the extreme heat and drought, Bryan opted to not do any butterfly
photography since his last trip to the southeast corner of Oklahoma in June. In
the past four weeks, temperatures have soared to well over 100 degrees without a
break. We’ve actually recorded over 110 on four days during the last month. There
is a burn ban in effect and several acres of pasture land were burned due to a carelessly
tossed cigarette, about five miles from the BOTWF headquarters, just two days ago.
Because of the bad conditions, administrative work is continuing on the website
species treatments as well as coordinating presentations and workshops.
Hopefully, the drought and heat will abate soon and we’ll have some new butterfly
photos to post in the next update.
12 September 2011
Since the last update at the end of July, the temperatures have soared here in central
Oklahoma and there has been no rain. One day we hit 115! The forest around the
BOTWF headquarters is very dry and there is now an extreme fire hazard. Just a few
weeks ago, up in Oklahoma City, there was a grass fire that destroyed 13 homes. It’s
a scary situation, but just within the last week, temperatures have started to slowly
go down and we’re finally below the daily 100 degrees (although today was again over
100). There is also rain in the forecast, so hopefully, relief is in sight.
Since the last update a presentation was given to the Drumright Garden Club in Drumright,
Oklahoma. Just as always, it’s nice to talk with like-minded people. Unfortunately,
most of the discussion was about the heat, drought and how hard it was to grow anything
in a garden. But, the presentation went very well.
Bryan has barely been out with his camera due to the extreme heat. Over the last
week he’s gone out to the Lexington Wildlife Management Area and saw only five species
of butterflies. The year before, at the same location and time, he counted 30 species
comprising hundreds of individuals. So, unfortunately there are no new images to
Well, just as most of these updates start out, this has been a busy time for the
BOTWF. Over the last month or so, Bryan has given a few presentations to eager audiences
across Oklahoma. On 17 September, he was at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve for a
presentation on prairie butterflies and a field trip. The presentation was in the
morning and as luck would have it, it was raining! Well, no one was complaining
about the rain, but at first we thought we’d have to cancel the afternoon field trip.
Once the potluck lunch was over, the sun had come out and butterflies were flying,
so Bryan took the group out. The highlight of the day was the approximately 100
Monarchs that were nectaring from blazing star. Bryan got his camera out and got
some shots. There’s nothing like fresh cooperative butterflies
on nice flowers with clean backgrounds.
The next day, Bryan was off to Jenks, Oklahoma, a small community right next to Tulsa.
There, The Nature Conservancy was celebrating its 25th anniversary and the BOTWF
was invited to set up a table. Bryan met and talked with many people enthusiastic
about nature in Oklahoma. He handed out several brochures and exchanged several
The next big event was the Oklahoma Bioblitz held on the 14th and 15th of October.
It was held at the Chickasaw National Recreation Area near Sulphur, Oklahoma. This
was the second year the BOTWF has attended and it was quite a turnout that set a
record for attendance. Priscilla Crawford organized the whole weekend’s worth of
activities and she did an admirable job. Bryan gave a presentation on Friday night
and a butterfly walk on Saturday. It was a great success and it was nice to see
so many people interested in natural history.
Of course Bryan got out with his camera since the last update. The unbearable temperatures
finally cooled off and the fall species started to appear, but in lower numbers than
usual. One of the things about the BOTWF website is that we want to include as much
about butterflies as possible. So, Bryan’s been photographing larval food plants
when he can and updating the species pages with those images. He was able to photograph
sneezeweed, Helenium amarum, which is one of the larval food plants for the Dainty
Sulphur. He also photographed black willow, Salix nigra, that the Red-spotted Purple,
Mourning Cloak and Viceroy eat as caterpillars. While photographing the willow in
a wet area, he saw a tiny Least Skipper and was able to get some photos. Earlier
in the year he photographed various oaks and milkweeds and the website has now been
updated with those images. Check out the Monarch and Banded Hairstreak pages to
see some examples.
More presentations are being coordinated. So, please keep checking our Calendar
to see if we’re coming to your area. Also, please contact us if you need a presentation
for your group. That’s all the news for now.
On 17 November, Bryan was off to Tulsa to give a presentation for the Green Country
Sierra Club. Bryan was interviewed by the Tulsa World for this event and the article
can be read here. Apparently, there was also a pitch on the NPR radio station about
the event and because of that, there was a full turnout. Many people stayed after
the presentation for a nice discussion and Q&A session.
2011 is starting to wind down and now’s the time to contact us for a presentation
for your group in 2012. Bryan gave a total of 28 presentations in 2011 and he’s
in high demand, so don’t delay your request. We’re hoping to have the 2012 calendar
posted by the next update, so keep checking back.
For those of you who like all kinds of nature photos, Bryan has created a Facebook
Fan Page. Since he photographs all aspects of nature and wildlife, he wanted to
combine this into an easy-to-view site that includes all of his current photography
and other images from his files that pique his interest.
And finally, Bryan is reviewing his photos of 2011 to select his top ten butterfly
shots for the year. If you have any favorites, let us know! A gallery of the top
ten will be posted soon, so keep checking back.
That’s all the news for now!
2 December 2011
In the month of November, Bryan gave two presentations to eager audiences. On the
12th he was at the Journey Clinic located in Moore, Oklahoma to give a presentation
at their Fall Festival. The clinic is run by Dr. Lana Nelson, the daughter of the
well known Oklahoma Lepidopterist and author, Professor John Nelson. The program
went very well especially with some very intelligent youngsters that Bryan couldn’t
stump with some pretty tough questions. Journey Clinic is located in far north building
of the Moore Medical Center complex. The clinic has a large gallery of photographs
by Bryan with accompanying museum mounted examples (provided by Professor Nelson)
of the various species. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind if you popped in to take a look
if you’re interested.