Saturday, May 14, 2016

Brukner Nature Center Butterfly Transit Walks for May 1 and May 12, 2016

May 1

The Brukner Nature Center's front entrance is in the process of being updated.  All the plants we found butterflies on last year have been torn out.  The good news is that more will be put in.  Now, however, the lack of plants mean that we aren't seeing butterflies in an area where we usually find quite a few.

 Our best sections for finding butterflies on May 1st turned out to be on the sections just beyond the meadow on the Hickory Ridge trail.  There we saw seven Red Admirals.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)  Wingspan 1.75-2.50 inches (4.4-6.4 cm)

We also saw four Eastern Commas in the same area.

Two Eastern Commas ( Polygonia comma)  Wingspan 2.0-2.4 inches (5.1-6.1 cm)

Jim found this American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis).  They are similar to a Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui). Seeing the underside makes the identification easier.

American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) Wingspan 1.75-2.40 inches (4.4-6.1 cm)

The Henry's Elfins (2) were found flitting around the redbud blossoms just as they were on
April 24.  This photo is from April 24.

Henry' Elfin (Callophrys henrici) Wingspan  0.9-1.2 inches (2.3-3.0 cm)

Other butterflies that we saw were Cabbage Whites (4) and a Pearl Crescent.

May 12
The transit group attempted to monitor the trail on May 7 (Saturday) but it was not a good day for seeing butterflies...spitting rain, wind gusts, temperatures below 70 degrees Fahrenheit.  The group gave up on counting butterflies.  Nancy and Phil went out on Thursday, May 12,  which was a nicer day.  They found butterflies but they were elusive so Phil didn't get photos of them.  They counted a Red Admiral, a Silver-spotted Skipper, a Pearl Crescent, 5 Cabbage Whites.  In addition, two orange butterflies flitted by so fast, neither Nancy nor Phil got a good look at them.

However Phil did get these photos of turtles who live in Cattail Pond.

Painted Turtles (Above)

I'm not sure which turtle this is.  I know Snapping Turtles live in the pond but there may be other species, too.  I'm not sure the back is lumpy enough to be a Snapper.

I am reporting this on May 14.  Neither today nor tomorrow will be a good day for counting butterflies.  Today the high is predicted to be about 50 degrees Fahrenheit and there is a frost warning tonight.  Weather forecasters are suggesting that delicate plants should be covered.

We have had a few nice spring days but many more days when May has felt like March.  All of us are hoping for a few weeks of spring before the hot days of summer show up.

1 comment:

  1. We are hoping for some spring like days too! It snowed/sleeted yesterday, of course it melted when it hit the ground, but the wind was raw. Today I worked in the woodshop/greenhouse where it was delightfully warm...making some more glass flowers. I hope your days get warmer and you see more butterflies! Hi to Tom!
    Oh yes I wanted to tell you that for Mother's Day Jen and I are going to one of those have some wine and paint things...Fishing In the Dark. They seem to be all the rage up here. We will see:)