I, in my ever-expanding wisdom, did not bring my camera to capture some of the evening's moments. Heidi however did, and may post a few in the near future.
Anyhow, the following day (today) we came upon the following butterfly in the Abilene front yard of Heidi's landlord:
Abbie has done an amazing job with this garden, by the way...
Soapberry Hairstreak (Phaeostrymon alcestis)
This insect is a "one-brood" butterfly. [In some cases a particular butterfly species passes from egg,larva,pupa and adult stages in a matter of weeks, and the cycle is repeated many times a year; thus many "generations" or "broods" a year. There are, however, some species that hae only one brood per year, and these often have a short flight season. In the North there are some that have even fewer than one per yr.]
So you kind of get one shot at spotting these guys, generally from May to June, per season.
The Soapberry Hairstreak gets its common name due to its affinity for the Western Soapberry tree (Sapindus drummondii), the larval hostplant. The adult butterfly is seldom found away from the soapberry tree. Due to this, it is a highly localized species. It ranges where, ofcourse, soapberry trees range, generally the central & western two-thirds of Texas, parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and extreme northern portions of the Mexican states of Chihuahua and Sonora.
This is only the second time I have observed this species, and I believe a first for Heidi. This bug was seriously cooperative and we took advantage with our cameras.