It’s a beautiful, lush time at the farm right now. It’s been raining a lot – we finally got more than one day of sun in a row this week, and the temperature climbed to 80.
We hosted a tour of Prairie Enthusiasts here on Saturday. Unfortunately, it was one of the rainy days. But everyone cheerfully hiked through the wet, and we got to see lots of prairies, a few butterflies, and even a moth.
We were hoping for a little sunlight in the afternoon to bring out the butterflies. No sun, but we did find a few butterflies.
Here’s a European Skipper
And a Baltimore Checkerspot
And we found one showy daytime moth – a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth – sitting still. Usually these are moving fast, fluttering their wings like hummingbirds.
All the summer creatures are starting to appear.
This is one of the baby frogs – or toads – I’m not sure which – in the Frog Pond. It’s tiny – less than an inch long – and it still has its tadpole tail.
Baby Wood Ducks in the creek
Camas Lily with Harebells in the background – on Indian Grass Point
The Cat’s Paw Prairie looks great this year, especially in the mornings, when the spiderwort flowers are open.
The prairies are mostly white and blue right now, but the Oxeye are just starting to bloom.
Silver Bordered Fritillary – I don’t see these very often
There have been very few butterflies on the driveway this year. Normally by the middle of June there are dozens, sometimes hundreds, sitting on the gravel sipping the salts from the surface of the stones. Now, finally, the butterflies are back. I walked the driveway a few days ago, on a sunny day, and counted 465 Baltimore Checkerspots! And that was only one of the species I saw.
Here’s one small part of the driveway. In this group there are Baltimore Checkerspots, Silvery Checkerspots, Northern Crescents, and a Great Spangled Fritillary.
Red-spotted Purple – also seeing a lot of these on the driveway
Our friends Danny and Kathy came over, and Kathy walked in front of their car to shoo the slow-moving butterflies out of the way. (Thanks Kathy!)
Here’s Kathy with a friendly Hackberry Emperor Butterfly.
Snake alert – for people who don’t like photos of snakes!
I startled a small Garter Snake on the driveway one day. It tried hard to look fierce – flicking its tongue and hissing at me.
The mothing has been better since the nighttime temperatures have gone up. Here are a few highlights.
Little Virgin Tiger Moth
Virginia Creeper Sphinx
Spotted Apatelodes – an odd, unusual one
We’ve been seeing lots of rainbows – this was a double one, over the ridge beyond Center Valley.