Thursday, July 24, 2014

Brukner Butterfly Transit, July 19, 2014

I walked on the Butterfly Transit with the transit volunteers for the first time in more than a month.  Phil sent me the photos he took.

We weren't sure we would see many butterflies.  The temperatures were in the low seventies ( Fahrenheit ) and the sky was cloudy.  The day turned out to be the best day for seeing butterflies that we have had this summer.

Pearl Crescent on Butterflyweed.

Red Admiral on the steps of the amphitheater.

Red-Spotted Purple on Purple Coneflower

Eastern-tailed Blue among the plantain, grass, and clover.

Monarch chrysalis remains on a milkweed.  We saw two Monarchs, one of them Ruth identified through her binoculars as being a female.  

We didn't see any Monarchs last year.  I hope the Monarchs are recovering from whatever caused their sparse numbers last year.  

We found a tiny Monarch caterpillar.  Ruth who raises Monarchs said the caterpillar was in the second Instar, which is what the stages are called that it will go through as it grows larger.  It  sheds its skin each time it advances to another Instar.

Below is another caterpillar that we saw.  It is from the moth family.

This Large Milkweed Bug was nearby.  The small red bug is probably a young Large Milkweed Bug.  

Ruth has a section on the record page where she lists the blooming flowers.

The Asiatic Dayflower is still blooming.

We saw this beautiful pink flower in the meadow.  None of us had ever seen it there before.  Brukner's intern went out into the meadow.  She said the flowers had a lovely scent.  

The rest of us chose to stay on the trail.  This is Chigger season in tall grassy areas.  They cause people's skin to itch for days when they hop on and borrow in.

Out along the drive, we saw a garter snake sunbathing.  One person in the group said they saw a garter snake near the Interpretive Center front door also.

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