Journal for August 3, 2011


It’s a great time for butterflies – they like puddling on the driveway after the rain.  There have been especially large numbers of Swallowtails.  Mike Reese has been getting reports of large numbers all over the state, and reports of Giant Swallowtails much farther north than usual.

Different butterflies like different parts of our driveway.  The swallows like the muddy patches near the creek.  I counted 9 Giant Swallowtails and 11 Tiger Swallowtails in this group.


They’re so beautiful – I can’t stop taking pictures of them!  The Giant Swallowtails are on the left in this photo, and the Tiger Swallowtails are on the right.


Mostly Giant Swallowtails – one Tiger on the right


Mixed Swallowtails


There are other butterflies on other parts of the driveway.  These are Crescents – either Northern Crescents or Pearl Crescents – it’s difficult to tell the difference.


Blues – mostly Summer Azures, but the one in the middle with the orange spot and the ‘tail’ is an Eastern-tailed Blue.

This is the time of year when the prairies are at their best.  More of the flowers are in bloom all at the same time.  I drive through Pat’s Prairie – our oldest prairie – 11 years old – on my way to pull Parsnip every morning.





And this is the wetland – one of the areas where I’ve pulled all the Wild Parsnip.


The baby birds that were nesting on the walls of our porch have all finally fledged.   The Phoebes went first – they were gone when we got back to the farm last week.

The Barn Swallows hung around for a while longer.  At the end, the babies were clearly too big for their nest.  This photo was taken on July 27th.


They were even bigger the next day – July 28th.


On the last day, all the babies left except this one.  Maybe he liked having the nest all to himself.  It was fun watching the parents try to tempt the babies to fly.  They’d fly right up to the nest as if they were bringing food, but they wouldn’t feed them.  The babies would all open their mouths, ready for the food, but nothing would go in.  Then the parents would swoop by the nest, chirping.  This one watched all the fuss for almost a day before he got hungry enough to fly.


I’m getting all kinds of interesting creatures at my moth lights these days.  This Katydid came to visit.


There have been dozens of Mayflies.



And some beautiful moths – here are a few of my recent favorites.

A Zale – Zales are large, beautifully patterned moths.   This one was about 2 1/2 inches across, and I think is a Lunate Zale.


Green Marvel


Friendly Probole


Ruby Tiger Moth – the best photo I’ve ever gotten of this species – showing both the hind wings and the red and black abdomen.


The best photo I’ve ever gotten of this species – the Painted Lichen Moth.


Fragile White Carpet


Two Furculas – odd little moths that have beautiful subtle colors.  This one is a Western Furcula.


White Furcula


One of the Underwing moths – they all have odd common names – usually related to marriage.  Connubial Underwing


American Ear Moth


And a final farm photo – clouds after the storm