Connecting people with nature in Ontario's Mississippi Valley

Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly spotted March 2nd in Almonte

NOTE:  below you will find a recent sighting sent in by MVFN member Neil Carleton. Please send in your sightings and we will post them under Nature Notebook- Recent Sightings.

Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly spotted March 2nd in Almonte

 

This image is from Government of Canada, Canadian Biodiversity Facility Website

Spring seems to have arrived early this year. My wife, Lucy, a kindergarten teacher at Naismith Memorial Public School, in Almonte, was surprised to see a Compton Tortoiseshell butterfly flying around her car in the school parking lot on Tuesday afternoon, March 2nd. It was a bright sunny day and the temperature was up above freezing.

Tortiseshells, as well as Morning Cloak butterflies, overwinter as adults in protected places and will take flight on sunny, warmer days in early spring.

The earliest Lucy and I have ever seen a Tortoiseshell was on April 6, 2008, on the Brule Lake Road, north of the village of Plevna. We were surprised to see 9 of them that day soaking up the sun on the sand covered road. They flew up as we approached, so we stopped and pulled over for a closer look. Moving slowly, we were able to get quite close to observe them.

The Tortoiseshell Lucy saw last Tuesday flew right around her car, across the school parking lot, then disappeared over the big snow banks.

-Neil

sent by Neil Carleton, P.O. Box 1644, Almonte, Ontario, K0A 1A0