Roadside Butterflies

Monarch Butterfly By the side of the Road
Monarch Butterfly By the side of the Road

Unexpected Delay

My journey took an unexpected delay, when I found out there was no bus service from Winnipeg to Minnesota. My response was to hoof it. This took a quite a long time because I decided on a rather untraveled route that lead Southeast to the American town, called Warroad and the nearby Lake of the Woods. The one benefit of this lengthy journal, was that I had lots of time to examine things left along the side of the road. It was remarkable how you could sense the presence of a nearby town by the great increase in of certain types garbage such as beer cans, soft drink bottles, coffee containers and plastic wrappers. And then the opposite effect would occur, as you passed through town and headed back for the wide-open rural spaces. And sometimes vehicular traffic has the habit of creating its own objects at the edge of the highway.

Common sulphur butterfly of Minnesota
Common sulphur butterfly of Minnesota

Roadkill Insects

There is a lot of beauty and tragedy expressed by these flying insects that lie motionless along the side of the road. Though I doubt they amount to a significant portion of the butterfly population, it still seems a loss to find just one of these flying beauties sitting on the road shoulder. The marvelous little insects seem frozen in time, for their delicate bodies are so well preserved. Most likely these insects are not the result of a direct collision, but instead, they were probably overwhelmed by the heady winds created by larger vehicles. In fact, quite a few could be seen still fluttering the wings and very much alive, but unable to fly.

The Arctic Fritillary
The Arctic Fritillary is associated with the peat boglands of extreme northern Minnesota

Different Varieties

Interesting species such as this arctic butterfly dwell in the bog areas of Northern Minnesota. Here, just south of the border this colorful Lepidotera is at the very southern limit of the range. Still the northernedge of this state sits very near the Great Plains and the northern birch-maple woods, so the diversity of habitats is significant. Pictured below is a butterfly of unknown identification.

Another roadside butterfly
Another roadside butterfly
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