I am learning to walk quietly along gravel and sand trails as I try to keep my eye on the path ahead looking for butterflies and birds that rest on the ground. Butterflies congregate in wet sand, gravel and shallow puddles as they get moisture and salts from the soil. They also like to rest on warm rocks and are more likely to stay still for a picture in these places than on a wildflower.
A few days ago I sensed some movement ahead and used my binoculars to single out the well camouflaged wing of a Painted Lady. The open wings contrasted with the ground and were much easier to see as I approached.
We now have a stone border around our backyard perennial garden and I have noticed more butterflies and dragonflies outside the house. Last evening I watched an Eastern Comma near the deck but did not have my camera close by. I will endeavour to make my yard even more butterfly friendly with the plantings I choose for the new bare spaces. And I will leave a little wet sand and gravel for them as well.