Thursday, June 25, 2015

calm after the storm

A view of Lake Kittamaqundi yesterday evening, following the wild storm the night before.

As I turned to leave this part of the bank, I found a single pearl crescent sunning on the ground behind me. There was also one red admiral nearby.


Another look at the meadow on the path from the lake to South Entrance Road. Butterflies seen here so far: cabbage whites, sulphurs and a few pearl crescents. Below is the Little Patuxent River as it looked yesterday from the old South Entrance Road bridge (pictured in previous post).

Gracey wasn't bothered by the storm.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

an old bridge and a meadow -- more butterflies to count

A detour from the path around Lake Kittamaqundi today gave me a closer look at an old bridge which you can see from southbound 29 as you drive by this part of Columbia. Photos of the old bridge follow below. Note the date on the plaque! The bridge once carried a road which no longer exists over the Little Patuxent River, which is a bit of a torrent today after last night's storm. Imagine how many other storms and floods this bridge has survived.

(There are two other recent posts before this with photos for the butterfly survey.)

More milkweed without monarchs.

The path will be paved, another section of the local public path system. There is a wonderful meadow here, and I hope it's in the plans to be retained as the path is developed. It was swarming with butterflies and dragonflies today, and a barn swallow was skimming around above it.

Unidentified skipper species on the path returning to the lake from the library area. [Probably a male Zabulon skipper.]

Saturday, June 20, 2015

butterfly counting this weekend

Firstly, yesterday evening at the lake: There is plenty of milkweed, especially along the stretch between Whole Foods and the southern boat landing, but I have yet to see either butterflies on the blossoms or monarch caterpillars on the stems or leaves. There are plenty of these beetles and also bumblebees on the milkweed, however.

This afternoon at the adjacent wildlife and wetland management area...Surprisingly, I see no milkweed at all along this area.

We counted this species as orange sulphur previously. Is it orange or clouded sulphur?

Here be dragonflies, too.

Are these two white creatures moths or butterflies? They were only inches apart on the side of the trail, but they appear to be two different species -- both in the habit of just sitting still on a leaf and allowing multiple photo attempts. These are the only two of this type that I saw.

Silver-spotted skipper -- two were counted on this walk.

Little glassywing skipper. The second one that I've seen along here so far.

The lost lovely shot -- two shots, neither in focus, before it flew away. Eastern tailed blue or summer azure? (I think I can see some orange in the usual place for the ETB.) Usually they rest with wings closed -- white with black speckles. It's hard to catch them with wings open like this.

Invasive lesser celandine has receded for the season, only to be replaced by invasive wavy basket grass, which really plagues this area. (It's the shorter, lighter green stuff all over the place in this shot.)

Eastern comma or question mark?

And a Lilliputian Forest Cat.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Little Glassywing Skipper, etc.

Sightings and scenes from butterfly counting over the past few days. Above: the little glassywing skipper.

Summer azure on Asian dogwood in the Kittamaqundi Church garden

A click beetle landed on me while I was searching for butterflies. Below: playing dead after I tried to remove it.

Ever-present cabbage whites puddling.

The one that got away: There is a brownish butterfly resting on a leaf around the center of these two photos. It was about the size of a red admiral. It did not settle down anywhere until it flew across a small stream, and I only had my compact camera with me. Maybe I can find out what species is most likely.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Dragonflies rule...

Last Saturday, I took another walk around Lake Kittamaqundi to count butterflies, but dragonflies ruled the lake that day. Here are a few photos, which I might label later if I can identify the species. There is one damselfly here, a male Ebony Jewelwing (the bluish green iridescent one).

One butterfly (a skipper) and a moth....