Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Snout butterfly

with 40 comments

Snout Butterfly on Barbed Wire 2836

A few miles from where the silver bluestem was impersonating a snowstorm on November 19th, I found this American snout butterfly, Libytheana carinenta, on two twisted strands of barbed wire. This is a Cyrano de Bergerac of butterflies, so you might say we’re ending the year with panache.

Yes, today is the last day of 2013 (unless another one unexpectedly intervenes), but because I’m backed up with lots of photographs from an unusually productive November and first part of December, some of those pictures will keep appearing in the weeks ahead. January is usually a fallow month anyhow, a good time to look back while anticipating a spring that comes sooner to central Texas than to many other places. A happy and prosperous 2014 to you all.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 31, 2013 at 6:11 AM

40 Responses

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  1. Happy New Year to you too Steve. I’m looking forward to your beautiful photos warming me up during the cold winter months of 2014 up here in the great white north :).


    December 31, 2013 at 6:15 AM

    • Hi, Cindy. It was the Great White North, way back in the 1970s, that sent me to the Warm Bright South, a place where the season for botanical photos is a lot longer. I hope some of the photos from here in the days ahead really will dispel your chill up there.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 9:30 AM

  2. Happy New Year ♥ Mathilda


    December 31, 2013 at 6:37 AM

  3. Happy new year Steven

    Sophie L.

    December 31, 2013 at 7:01 AM

  4. The schnoz, Jimmy Durante, would have loved this one.

    Happy New Year to you.

    Jim in IA

    December 31, 2013 at 7:07 AM

    • Not many people today would catch the reference to Jimmy Durante, a sign that the years are passing. On the other hand, durante means ‘during,’ and we can take that as a token that we’re enduring. Happy 2 x 19 x 53 to you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 9:47 AM

  5. Happy New Year to you too Steve!


    December 31, 2013 at 9:55 AM

  6. Steve, each week I conduct nature workshops at senior residences (i.e. assisted living, skilled nursing, memory support). A favorite topic of the senior residents centers on anything about butterflies or moths. I can’t wait to share this image of the Snout butterfly as well as the information you have shared No doubt this particular butterfly and its long snout will trigger many discussions and memories of long snouted connections they might know! Looking forward to a lively discussion based on the Snout butterfly.
    Thanks again for all you do. . . and a very Happy New Year to you, too. J. Lovedahl


    December 31, 2013 at 10:43 AM

    • I didn’t realize that butterflies and moths are popular at residences for the elderly, but I can understand why they would be. Some of your residents may remember José Ferrer’s Oscar-winning performance in the 1950 movie Cyrano de Bergerac. If you get any interesting reactions to the butterfly or Cyrano (or Jimmy Durante, as a commenter suggested), you’ll have to let us know. Happy nature and happy 2014.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 11:01 AM

  7. I have enjoyed following you this year Steve, with your stunning photos of flowers and insects, most unknown to me though some similar to what I have seen/grown. I look forward to more…
    Happy photographing in 2014
    Jude xx


    December 31, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    • Thanks for letting me know you’ve enjoyed the diversity of flora (plus some fauna) that I’ve portrayed in Texas this year, and let’s see what the new year brings. Happy almost-2014 to you over there, Jude (it’ still only 2 in the afternoon here).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 2:05 PM

  8. Steve! I’m so very glad I “found” you! Your photos are a highlight to my computer work! As for the Snout, I was absolutely delighted to find one that wanted to literally tag along with me as I hiked in July. I had never seen one before and apparently my sweat was intriguing to him!

    Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year! Looking forward to another year of watching the wilds of Texas through your camera lens!

    Brenda Jones

    December 31, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    • And I’m equally happy to have been found, Brenda. Let’s see what bits of nature, especially new ones, are willing to be found in 2014. I’ll do my best.

      When it comes to butterflies, I’ve seen several species attracted to and landing on people, presumably for the mineral content in their sweat, in the same way I’ve seen butterflied land on damp ground or rocks.

      Happy New Year to you and your family in two hours (your time).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 9:06 PM

  9. I love that background! Hope you have a wonderful and Happy New Year Steve!

    Michael Glover

    December 31, 2013 at 6:48 PM

  10. A creature that certainly displays panache, love the photo. Have a great new year full of hopes and dreams, and many successes.

    Charlie@Seattle Trekker

    December 31, 2013 at 7:33 PM

  11. I can’t let the old year pass away without a word of appreciation for all I’ve learned from you – not only about flowers, but about language, math, literature and photography. You’re an extraordinarily patient teacher. I can only imagine what might have been different had I encountered you in high school math! So – thank you.

    Despite my delight in this slightly odd butterfly, your mention of looking forward and looking back made me curious. Could there be a Janus-faced butterfly? Well, not exactly. But this is a fairly good approximation.

    Happy January, and Happy New Year!


    December 31, 2013 at 8:00 PM

    • You’re so welcome, Linda. I’ve been equally impressed by how naturally you tell stories on your blog, some from personal experience, others from diligent research, but always flowing from start to finish.

      One of my first butterfly discoveries, when I started doing nature photography in 1999, was the olive (or juniper) hairstreak. Butterflies of that species didn’t seem to mind staying put, so I got a chance to observe the false head at the rear, which not only has imitation antennae, but even moves back and forth to draw a potential predator away from the real head. I soon learned that that’s a common camouflage among the hairstreaks in general (and in particular the great purple you linked to). A hairstreak as Janus: why not?
      An excellent segue into January in an hour. Happy New Year!

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 10:55 PM

  12. A diversion from the winter is always appreciated.


    December 31, 2013 at 8:37 PM

  13. What a delightful ‘snout’.

    The World Is My Cuttlefish

    December 31, 2013 at 9:15 PM

  14. Happy New Year, Steve! I’ve certainly enjoyed your photos and thoughts this year!


    December 31, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    • Thanks, Terry, and Happy New Year two hours from now in Mountain Time (so appropriately named for those of you who live in Montana).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 10:58 PM

  15. This is amazing; and I really like the analogy to ‘panache’.


    December 31, 2013 at 11:01 PM

    • Thanks, Maria. My father introduced us to Cyrano (and panache) when I was a teenager, so after all those years of being in my head it seemed a natural connection. ¡Próspero Año Nuevo!

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 31, 2013 at 11:07 PM

  16. “C’est un pic, c’est un cap, que dis-je une péninsule”!! il est très beau et original ce Cyrano..
    Tous mes meilleurs voeux pour cette nouvelle année Steve et continue de nous faire rêver avec tes photos.


    January 1, 2014 at 4:36 AM

    • Quelle joie de connaître les mots de Rostand en français.
      Je te souhaite aussi, Chantal, mes meilleurs voeux pour la nouvelle année qui est déjà arrivée.

      Steve Schwartzman

      January 1, 2014 at 7:02 AM

  17. What an amazing butterfly! Happy New Year Steve 🙂

  18. he has a lot of character.


    January 1, 2014 at 11:55 PM

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