Little Wood Satyrs

A little further up the road, two small, delicate brown butterflies fluttered low over a mixture of grass and short weeds along the edge of the woods. They paused to rest in the grass, sometimes with wings spread, and sometimes with wings held up, then fluttered up again but did not fly away or fly far, staying around this small spot for several minutes at least.  They were Little Wood Satyrs – moth-brown butterflies, small but not tiny, with wings patterned in soft, intricate shades and scalloped lines of brown, tan, and taupe, and several large dark eye-spots ringed in yellow around the edges of the wings.

Often found in open grassy areas in or near woodlands, they’re common and widespread in the eastern U.S., but uncommonly lovely, with a gentle, understated charm. They are known for basking on tree leaves or leaf litter in early morning and late afternoon with wings open, and for their slow, bouncing flight, usually close to the ground, though they also fly up into trees.

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