Skipping Through Life

Why am I not a butterfly? I flutter by and sip from flowers in the garden just like the big boys. My flight pattern is faster and erratic, it makes me harder to catch than those slow poke butterflies. But many consider me a type of butterfly anyway, just those nitpicking taxonomists say it isn’t so.

There are more than 3,500 species of us worldwide, 250 live in North America. One third of North American butterflies belong to my clan. We have the numbers working in our favor, if not the brilliant colors. We are considered drab by some who prefer gaudiness to our subtle beauty.

When supping in the flora, we don’t detract from the beauty of the blossoms, we work without fanfare.

Diligence is our motto.

Our stout bodies and moth like appearance make us the worker bees of the garden, so to speak.

Our antennae are farther apart than the butterflies and end in pointed curved clubs. We find that a very attractive feature in our appearance.

We can hold our wings in various partially closed positions. Some compare our silhouette to a fighter jet, we like that.

It is well known in the insect world that we have strong wing muscles. Chicks dig that.

We are sneaky with our features, being so similar that even experts cannot distinguish between us in the field. We certainly don’t expect a simple home gardener with a camera to be able to tell us one from the other.

Some are attracted to our large eyes without hairs, but rather tufts of curving bristles overhanging each. Bushy eyebrows are always a feature sought after among true connoisseurs of hesperiidae.

We are a social bunch, enjoying the company of our own kind as well as bees, wasps and any other flying creature. We do watch out for spiders and mantids though, they are bad news.

Almost a moth, not quite a butterfly, why should we worry about the classification problems of humans? They can only tell for sure our differences by DISSECTION! Shudder and shake. Let’s not think about that but rather enjoy our flower hopping and live for the moment.

We subscribe to the philosophy of Epicurus. Life is to be free of pain or fear, filled with the happiness of self sufficiency surrounded by friends and family.

A solitary life is the goal of some beings.

The company of a few close friends and a bee is desirable to more.

But the ultimate joy is obtained when living life to its fullest in great crowds of like minded individuals.
The Skippers
(translated and transcribed by Frances)

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30 Responses to Skipping Through Life

  1. Aunt Debbi/kurts mom says:

    What a grand post on the often overlooked little skippers. Great job Frances.


  2. Ewa says:

    Frances, moth life is very extensive in your garden – they apparently like you 🙂
    I also wrote my last post about moth – Humming-bird Hawk-moth – a curiosity in oland, that visited my garden.

  3. Frances, says:

    Hi Deb, thanks. We have so many of those little guys, they are like a swarm on the rows of sedums that dash around as I walk by.

    Hi Ewa, thanks for stopping by. I will check out your post. We have a couple of those hummingbird moths too, very difficult to photograph well.

  4. tina says:

    How cute! You have such a talent for writing! I feel kind of smart since I just learned who Epicurus is last term. Guess education is paying off a wee bit. Philosophy, not my cup of tea. Love the ‘chicks dig it’ comment.

  5. Gail says:

    Hey there Frances, The Skippers over here are all excited that you have brought their clan some much needed attention. They are happy little guys and dolls and deserve the focus to be on them.

    What a fun read with good photos and factual information; it all adds up to a perfect post!


  6. marmee says:

    great information on these guys! your images are always great!

  7. ourfriendben says:

    Ooh, fabulous, Frances!

  8. Lucy Corrander says:

    What a wonderful post.

    And it’s good for moths to get a bit of an airing.

    They must get very cross with butterflies for hogging the limelight!


  9. Frances, says:

    Hi Tina, thanks so much. I'm a big fan of Epicurus myself and philosophy in general, but am not well educated.

    Hi Gail, thanks for those encouraging words. Guys and dolls indeed, LOL. There are so many of them on the sedums, more than I have ever noticed before, or is it the camera and blog that make my pay more attention to everything about the garden?

    Hi Marmee, thanks, glad to see you and glad you enjoyed our skipper friends.

    Hi Ellen/Ben, happy that you liked the post. ;->

    Hi Lucy, nice to see you too. Good thing the skippers are too busy with the flowers to notice the great press that the butterflies enjoy. Thanks for visiting.

  10. PGL says:

    What a grand story of the Skipper. I have tons of these visiting my garden daily. I love watching them flitter around.

  11. DP Nguyen says:

    Hi Frances, I am sure the Skippers are so thrilled that you took time to translate and transcribe their life and ways into beautiful words. 🙂 They are too often neglected.

  12. Mother Nature says:

    You say it so well.

  13. Anna says:

    They are entertaining and you covered just about everything a skipper ever thinks in life. They are fortunate to have you!

  14. Frances, says:

    Hi PGL,thanks, they have the numbers, don't they? Our sedums are covered in them, so wonderful.

    Hi DP, they had a story that needed to be told. ;-> Glad you enjoyed it.

    Hi Donna, how sweet of you, thanks.

    Hi Anna, why thanks, it is a joy to help out our fellow creatures in the garden.

  15. WiseAcre says:

    No way I want to dissect any just to identify them. I’ll keep skipping from one flower to the next with my flutterby friends.

  16. Rusty in Miami says:

    Excellent post, I enjoyed it. Your pictures are magnificent as always

  17. Frances, says:

    Hi Wise, glad to hear that, so are the skippers. Thanks for dropping in, so nice to see you.

    Hi Rusty, hope you are safe. Thanks for the kind words, we are glad you liked the post and photos.

  18. Rose says:

    Awesome photos, Frances! A lot of their relatives have been visiting my garden as well, so I appreciate all the information about them. I’m sure they appreciated your putting them in the limelight for once, instead of their more colorful friends.

  19. Frances, says:

    Hi Rose, thanks. They seem to have relatives all over, they just don’t get very much press! Nice to see you on this holiday weekend.

  20. says:

    What a beautiful set of photos in a beautiful garden!

  21. Dave says:

    Until recently I didn’t know that their name was a skipper. It makes a lot of sense as the skip about in the garden. Great post!

  22. Titania says:

    Frances, I admire the subtle colours and sturdy appearance of the skippers. A very lovely, interesting post.

  23. Frances, says:

    Hi Karrita, thanks and welcome. You have some beautiful art on your blog, and your dedication to your mother was moving and uplifting. Thanks for having me in your sidebar as well, an honor.

    Hi Dave, aren’t they sweet? Grace probably loves them, the name is easy to remember and they are down on her level. Thanks for your continued support.

    Hi Titania, nice to see you. The skippers appreciate your fine eye for beauty.

  24. says:

    Hi Frances~
    Thank you for the kind words on my art! I am just learning about blogging. Thanks for putting my blog on your list too!
    Have a beautiful day~

  25. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    These folded winged skippers are a challenge to identify. I sort of lump them together in my head. I love to see them skipping about the garden.

  26. Frances, says:

    Hi Karrita, it is my pleasure to list you and see your wonderful art.

    Hi Lisa, me too. They are numerous and very active. I love the way their wings fold too, much like jet planes. Thanks for stopping by.

  27. Kylee says:

    In the last month or so, I would say Our Little Acre has had more skippers than anything. Not the one that you show here, but the Silver-Spotted Skipper.

    Beautiful post!

  28. Frances, says:

    Hi Kylee, thanks for the kind words. There do seem to be so many of the skippers, and they kind of blend into the garden so that we don’t notice them until the flutter around as you walk past, so fun! Glad you know your kind of skipper, I read alot about that one, it had several articles show up on google.

  29. Skeeter says:

    It is so difficult to capture these beauties and how lucky you are to capture more then one on the same bloom! Great snapping there!

  30. Frances, says:

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. It was easy to shoot them, they love those sedums. If was a little harder to find other flowers where they would stay still. As you know, they wait until you just get set to snap and fly off to another flower!

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