I think of the beginning of the meadow wildflower season in Eliza Howell Park as the first part of June, when patches of blooming Coreopsis appear.
It is happening now.
There will soon be a variety of other showy blooms in the wildflower fields, but, for now, Coreopsis claims our attention. The bright yellow flowers, one per stem, 2 feet tall or more, are loudly announcing the beginning of the summer wildflowers.
They each have 8 petals, but can look a little different, one flower from the next, because of the number of lobes at the tip of the petals. Compare this one to the one above.
Coreopsis is a native of Michigan and another Michigan native is ready and waiting for them to appear.
Pearl Crescent is a small orange and black butterfly that is found from late spring through the summer in Eliza Howell. I noted the first one this year on May 26. Now they are present in abudance and definitely attracted to the bright Coreopsis flowers for some serious nectaring.
Butterflies often don’t stay long enough in one place to be photographed — except when they are nectaring. This week the crescents let me get close emough to take all the pictures I wanted.
Pearl Crescents will nectar on a variety of other flowers in the coming weeks, but right now Coreopsis is by far the most attractive option.
Other pollinating insects, especially bees and flies, are also attracted to Coreopsis blooms….
… but nothing else decorates the Coreopsis flowers like Pearl Crescents.
Together, this flower and this butterfly inaugurate a whole new season in the park.