This butterfly, known to me unscientifically as a brown skipper (see below for scientific name), was very busy sipping nectar from a Sedum spectabile in my garden. As I photographed, I moved slowly closer and closer, carefully to not threaten, so it would not fly away. As I moved closer, the skipper rotated slowly as it sipped, each move looking as if it would dash away. Finally, in the viewfinder I saw a huge head with a long snout! It had turned completely around, with its rear toward the lens. I could never have anticipated those markings! Nature has such creativity when adapting coloring and shape for defense. A small adventure in the garden brought surprise , humor and learning. I believe this is a male Sachem skipper Atalopedes campestris, as seen at http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?guide=Butterflies. Size is 1 1/4 - 1 5/8 inches (3.2 - 4.2 cm). Habitat is open, disturbed sites such as roadsides, meadows, and yards. Adult food is nectar from a variety of flowers. Caterpillar food is within shorter grasses, including "crabgrass". Since crabgrass is in pretty good supply, this butterfly has good habitat!
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