Sometimes butterflies light on people and calmly sun themselves! The Tawny Emperor is a butterfly that commonly does this, and this is one of the most likely ways you may see it, as otherwise, it is a most wonderful camouflager. It may be common around the edges of woods, especially where they are hackberry trees, but it is not commonly seen because the light brown and dark brown markings and colors so perfectly merge with the brown lights and shadows of such places that few people see the butterfly.
This medium-sized butterfly may be found from southern New England all the way west to Nebraska and south into the southern states, everywhere flying up and down and around about at great speed, or lying camouflaged and perfectly still on the brown bark. Try to catch it in a net and you will find that suddenly it dodges away to freedom just when you thought you had it for sure! Your best chance to catch it is when it lights on twigs or leaves of the hackberry tree or comes to the edge of mud puddles for a drink.
You will be startled when you meed the striped yellow and green caterpillar with its thick body tapering evenly to a small head and tail. Near the head two large, forked, greenhorns appear, looking almost like two toothed leaves and yet alarming enough to frighten away birds that might want to eat it.