Journal for July 3, 2013

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.

Prairie Enthusiasts 6-29-13 2




Prairie Enthusiasts 6-29-13 1

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

Thymelicus lineola European Skipper 6-29-13


And a Baltimore Checkerspot

Baltimore Checkerspot 6-29-13 1


And we found one showy daytime moth – a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth – sitting still.  Usually these are moving fast, fluttering their wings like hummingbirds.

Hemaris thysbe 6-29-13 1


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.

young frog


Baby Wood Ducks in the creek

wood duck babies


Camas Lily with Harebells in the background – on Indian Grass Point

White camas 6-27-13 1


The Cat’s Paw Prairie looks great this year, especially in the mornings, when the spiderwort flowers are open.

spiderwort on Cats Paw Prairie 6-29-13


The prairies are mostly white and blue right now, but the Oxeye are just starting to bloom.

oxeye 6-26-13


Scarlet Tanager

Scarlet Tanager


Silver Bordered Fritillary – I don’t see these very often

Silver bordered Fritillary 6-19-13 1


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.

butterfly group on driveway 2 6-30


Red-spotted Purple – also seeing a lot of these on the driveway

red spotted purple


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.

Cathy with butterfly


Hackberry Emperor

hackberry butterfly on Cathy Hanson



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.

garter snake 6-26-13 1



garter snake 6-26-13 2


The mothing has been better since the nighttime temperatures have gone up.  Here are a few highlights.

Sharp-lined Yellow

Sicya macularia 6-27-13 1



Lettered Habrosyne

Habrosyne scripta 6-27-13 1



Little Virgin Tiger Moth

Grammia virguncula 6-27-13 1




Euchlaena serrata 6-26-13 1



Virginia Creeper Sphinx


Darapsa myron 6-12-13 1


Pale Beauty

Campaea perlata 6-19-13 1



Spotted Apatelodes  – an odd, unusual one


Apatelodes torrefacta 6-27-13 1


We’ve been seeing lots of rainbows – this was a double one, over the ridge beyond Center Valley.