The silver-spotted skippers (Epargyreus clarus, Hesperiidae) are getting out of hand. It seems like they’re everywhere this time of year, flying all over, feeding on a variety of flowers, and getting themselves trapped indoors. Whenever I see them fluttering against the inside of a window I turn them loose.
In a floodplain forest full of stinging nettle, wood nettle, and Canadian clearweed, the isolated pockets of giant ironweed (Vernonia gigantea, Asteraceae) attracted a lot of these butterflies. The nettles are all wind-pollinated, producing little nectar to attract insects. The butterflies were looking for flowers that produce copious nectar, especially asters like this ironweed.