Luna and I walked for a good half hour until she decided to make a mad dash to something fluttering around in a field of dandelions. I of course followed in suit to see what caught her attention. I found her nose to nose, well actually nose to antenna, to a beautiful Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) butterfly. The Painted Lady is a medium-sized butterfly that has a wingspan of about two inches. It has black and white spots on the top of its orange wings and a beautiful combination of pink, brown, olive, black and white colors on its underside. When it sits and rests with its wings folded together, four small eyespots can be seen on its hingwing.
The Painted Lady is often referred to as the cosmopolitan butterfly because it is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world. The Painted Lady lives on all continents except Australia and Antarctica.
This species occasionally migrates without any regard to geography or season and is referred to as an irruptive migrant. This beautiful species is great to photograph and admire as they feed on a variety of host plants such as thistle, mallow and hollyhock.