As usual, the spring has run away with me – there’s so much to do and photograph, and no time to write blog posts.
The most exciting event at the farm is that Mike bought a drone. He’s been wanting one for a while, and he’s especially excited about taking movies and aerial photos of the farm. He’s spent the last few weeks learning to fly it – it turns out that there’s some skill involved, so it takes practice.
Here’s his first video – taken the very first day. A spring view of Center Valley.
Since then he’s crashed into a tree once (the drone survived), and taken a lot of video from high above the farm and some from the gator riding along our walking trails. It’s wonderful to see the farm from different perspectives. I’ll link to his new videos as soon as they’re ready.
Spring and early summer flowers are blooming and we’re seeing lots of summer butterflies.
The Monarch population has been in trouble, so we were excited to see our first Monarch on May 25.
And a pair of mated Monarchs on May 28.
Our first Giant Swallowtail arrived yesterday.
Eastern Tailed Blue
Gorgone Checkerspot – a prairie butterfly
And I’m starting to see Baltimore Checkerspot caterpillars along the driveway.
Cedar Waxwings – we saw a large flock checking out one of our blossoming apple trees
Our friends Bruce and Sarah visited from Iowa, and we took the traditional bench photo.
Starry False Solomon’s Seal
Lupine and Wood Betony in one of our planted prairies
I think we have at least two different species of morels. This one grows under dead elms. The other kind, which comes out a few weeks earlier, doesn’t grow under elms, and has a grayer color. I’ve seen quite a few of this kind this week.
Maple Ridge woods
This is one of the savanna areas that Mike mowed out early this spring. I’ve never seen any savanna flowers in here before, but already there are Golden Alexanders blooming.
I’ve been getting dozens of moths at my lights for the last few nights – lots of the summer moths are out. Here are a few of my favorites. (There are so many good ones that it’s hard to choose!)
Horrid Zale – a new species for the farm