When Tom and I arrived, Jim and Emily were finding good homes for Monarch caterpillars on the Common Milkweeds beside the sidewalk. Ruth still has others in jars on her kitchen counter.
Ruth raises Monarch caterpillars that she finds in a field near her home. The field is always mowed down before the caterpillars finish their cycle.
We didn't see any adult Monarch butterflies on our walk but Ruth found a Monarch egg...
She also found tiny Monarch caterpillars and ...
even Monarch caterpillar poop (frass).
Hackberry emperors were sitting on the parking lot pavement. Tom took this of one with its wings spread wide. I took the photo of the closed wing Hackberry.
On the Spicebush near the back door of the Interpretive Center, Ruth found an early instar of a Spicebush Butterfly.
There was another brood earlier this year.
We found the most butterflies along the drive where the Wingstem is in bloom. We were lucky to watch a Summer Azure ovipositing on one of the plants. Wingstem is a host plant for Summer Azure larvae.
The following photo of a Tiger Swallowtail was taken by Tom, also. Because of the extensive blue on the hind wings, Ruth identified it as a female.
We saw but did not get photos of Silver-spotted Skippers (3), an Eastern Tailed Blue, an Eastern Comma, and a Pearl Crescent. Jim took a photo of a skipper which Ruth sent off to the experts to identify.
I was pleased to see this photo that Tom took of a Northern Spring Peeper. See its roundish toes under its chin?
As usual, I took photos of other interesting finds.
A Robber Fly with his prey, a smaller fly. Molly, another walker on the transit, identified it for me.
An Ambush bug identified for me by Ruth. This bug was waiting near the center of a flower. It will grab other insects, often bigger than itself with its hooked front legs.
This Crab Spider, waiting in ambush, found its lunch.
I always enjoy seeing the pretty insect below. When I returned home I looked through the insect field guides. It is a good thing I did. I thought it was a moth but it is a Net-winged Beetle.