One summer afternoon in late July, I noticed this American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) visiting blossoms of Red Clover (Trifolium pratense). With wings held together, the two large "eye" spots on the American Lady's hind-wings easily separate this species from the Painted Lady (V. cardui) who has four smaller "eye" spots. The BugGuide has an excellent comparison graphic of these two Ladies.
A friend spotted this Northern Pearly-eye (Enodia anthedon) along a dirt section of the Eastern Trail in Biddeford, ME. These butterflies are known for visiting carrion, fungi, wounded trees (for sap), and, as is evidenced by today's photo, scat. Apparently, adult Northern Pearly-eyes do not visit flowers.
The Pearl Crescent* (Phyciodes tharos) is a common New England butterfly, present in all but northern Maine. The similar Northern Crescent (P. cocyta) has a more northern distribution and was formerly considered the same species. I photographed this individual in Wells, ME.
*I've since learned that it is quite difficult to tell Pearl Crescents and Northern Crescents apart. Given the fact that both species are found in Maine, and I am not a butterfly expert, it is possible that my photos are of a Northern.
This is the first year I've noticed Eastern Pine Elfins (Callophrys niphon). In southern Maine, these small butterflies fly primarily in May, so if you haven't seen one yet, your odds of finding one this year are slim. In May and early June, I noticed individuals nectaring on the tiny flowers of Little Bluet (Houstonia caerulea) and Bastard-toadflax (Comandra umbellata, pictured here).
Last week, I found these butterflies (American Copper, above, and Pearl Crescent*, below) nectaring on Lance-leaved American-aster (Symphyotrichum lanceolatum). As the white season approaches, fewer species of butterflies remain active, but some are still around for the observant naturalist to notice.
*I've since learned that it is quite difficult to tell Pearl Crescents and Northern Crescents apart. So, it is possible that my identification is incorrect. If I'd taken this photo in Massachusetts, where only Pearls are present, I'd feel more confident about my ID, but here in Maine, both species are possible.