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Red Spotted Purple Day
Photographer: Michele Rice
Location: Pittsburgh PA
In fall I spotted a red spotted purple butterfly laying eggs on a wild cherry tree outside out kitchen window. The red spotted purples are the last butterflies we see in the season. My son and I found two eggs which hatched days apart. One went on to make it's chrysalis and emerge as a butterfly in fall while the second caterpillar made a hibernaculum for winter. This was red spotted purple release day and my daughter set it free wearing all purple (even a spotted purple shirt) to celebrate this butterfly's life. I love how she's looking down at it as they shared a moment before it flew away. We learned a lot: the word hibernaculum, that the wild cherry tree outside our house is an important host plant, and that these butterflies eat fruit rather than flowers since they are so late in the season. I'm sure they visit rotten pumpkin patches and apple orchards all fall.
Digital Alterations: 
Camera Information: Olympus E-500
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