Thursday, July 7, 2011

A Walk at Charleston Falls...July1

On Friday, Sarah stopped by in the afternoon and we went walking at Charleston Falls. The temperatures were in the eighties but we were comfortable as long as we were on the woodland portions of the trail. The open area at Cedar Pond was hot. I felt sweat tripping down my neck but there were redeeming sights making a little sweat a minor discomfort.

Come with us down the trail to the falls. This part is shaded. We spotted these two Jack-in-the-pulpits with seedpods developing. Later the seedpods will be a beautiful bright red. These two plants could be more accurately be named "Jills" since only the female plants bear seeds. Jack-in-the-pulpits plants can be male, female or neither depending on the quality of the soil in which they are growing and the nourishment they take in.


Here is a closer view of the developing pod.





There was very little water tumbling over the rocky cliff of the falls. We have not had much rain for a couple weeks. Usually we have a bit more rain this time of year.

We hiked down the only somewhat steep trail in the park, Redbud Valley Trail, crossed the creek on the bridge and headed up to Cedar Pond.


On that section of the trail, we saw a lot of Ebony Jewelwing Damselflies. This is the female. The male has entirely black wings. The bodies on both have a metallic sheen.

We passed a small planted prairie on the way. The prairie plants are beginning to bloom. The prairie will be full of flowers in a few weeks.

We saw a few Oxeye Daisies...


and a few Gray-headed coneflowers. They are also called Prairie coneflowers.


At the meadow around the pond we found Common Milkweed. They have a lovely delicate fragrance.


And on the milkweed we found...


a Black Swallowtail. I knew immediately that the butterfly was a swallowtail because of the swallow-like tails on the rear wings. I checked in my Butterflies of Ohio field guide to decide positively that it was the Black Swallowtail since we have three similar species. All are swallowtails, have mostly black wings and red-orange spots on the underside of the rear wings.


We saw only one Black Swallowtail and none of two similar species but we saw many Great Spangled Fritillaries. They are often as large as the Monarch butterflies, another of the large butterflies in our area. They are called Spangled because they have big silver spots on the underside of their rear wings. In this photo, you can see the silver spots on one of the butterflies and the topside of the other butterfly.





I am sure that Tom has taken a beautiful close-up of a Black swallowtail but I can't find it. He has been taking photos for a very long time. Some are slides, some were taken with predigital still cameras, and some are digital camera. I did find these two photos of Great Spangled Fritillaries. He printed them for me so I could paint from them. I have one of the paintings started but I want to buy silver watercolor to use on the rear wing so it is still incomplete.


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