had apparently been hibernating in an old pipe in my yard. He emerged on t he first warm day of spring, looked around for a few moments, and then flew

Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloaks are long-lived butterflies. They hibernate in winter and aestivate in summer. They seem at their most active when emerging from one of these phases (on the first warm days of spring or the first cool days of fall).

This individual, like the one above, is basking in the sun. This Mourning Cloak looks like his wings have been painted with gold flakes. 

Mourning Cloaks usually live in or near wooded areas. When not basking on the ground, they can be found perched in trees. 

This individual is drinking tree sap. Mourning Cloaks seldom, if ever, nectar at flowers. When their wings are closed, Mourning Cloaks are well- camouflaged as dead leaves.

This Mourning Cloak had apparently been hibernating in an old pipe in my yard. He emerged on the first warm day of spring, looked around for a few moments, and then flew off. Photographed March 22nd.

This is another Mourning Cloak which had just emerged from a long hibernation. Photographed March 27, 2021, at Grant Park in Centerville. Mourning Cloaks seem to be on the decline in Ohio. They are probably being hurt by the warming climate. I have found Grant Park to be one of the more reliable places for Mourning Cloaks in recent years.