Butterflies at Sterling Forest State Park
Sterling Forest State Park in Orange County, NY, is well-known for its breeding population of Golden-winged Warblers, to say nothing of the yearly Renaissance Faire. But the diverse habitat of Sterling Forest State Park supports far more than Vermivora chrysoptera, lusty wenches and mead-drinking fools; everything from bears to dragonflies find what they need to live in the forests, lakes, wetlands, scrub, and meadows. In particular, butterflies seem to do very well at Sterling Forest State Park and a recent visit there during which Golden-winged Warbler did not show (likely due to the heat and sun at mid-day) was salvaged by paying attention to the lepidoptera.
Amazingly, if I do say so myself, I managed to identify all four of the following species using my only butterfly field guide, Butterflies through Binoculars – The East. Maybe I am starting to get a handle on this whole butterfly thing, though it seems more likely that these four butterflies, with the exception of the Dreamy Duskywing, are just relatively easy to identify.
Pearl Crescent Phyciodes tharos
Spicebush Swallowtail Papilio troilus
Little Wood-Satyr Megisto cymela
Dreamy Duskywing Erynnis icelus