Our first butterfly of 2017, despite freezing temperatures the previous night. A Mourning Cloak circled us on 7 April and then landed on the trail in front of us, as Erika and I strolled along the Bass Ponds in the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge near Minneapolis.
In Minnesota, Mourning Cloaks are the first butterflies in the spring. They often emerge in the fall and then hibernate during the winter. Coincidentally, 7 April also marked our first Mourning Cloak in 2011. This butterfly is probably in for hard times, since snow is predicted tomorrow night.