Journal for August 10, 2014

It’s that beautiful end-of-the-summer time.  We’ve had just enough rain, and mostly sunny not too hot days, and cool nights.   The clouds have been spectacular.


Buffalo Ridge



Buffalo Ridge

buffalo ridge clouds


Western Prairie

western prairie clouds


This was one evening when there were storms all around us, but it never rained on us.

clouds 2


A few weeks ago we had our annual moth party, in celebration of National Moth Week.  It was our 3rd moth party, and the best one yet.  The weather and the moths were perfect, and we had lots of friends to help celebrate.

Anne made a spectacular moth cake.

anne with cake


And everyone had a great time partying and looking at the moths.

marthas photo

For more photos of the moth party, and of the moths and other creatures we saw, Click Here.


Here are a few of the daytime creatures we’ve been seeing.

Giant Swallowtail

giant swallowtail 2


Hummingbird Clearwing Moth – this shows it’s long tongue that it uses to get to nectar from the bottom of tubular flowers

Hemaris thysbe 8-2-14 1


Another photo of a Hummingbird Clearwing Moth that shows why these moths are called “clearwings”.  The clear parts of their wings have scales when they first emerge from their cocoon, but the scales fall off quickly, so you can actually see through those parts of their wings.

Hemaris thysbe 8-8-14 1


Monarch on Oxeye



A Spring Peeper that was attracted to my moth lights.  It’s the first time I’ve seen – rather than heard – a Spring Peeper.

Spring Peeper 8-2-14


Field Milkwort

Polygala sanguinea


Acadian Hairstreak – a wetland butterfly that I don’t see very often

Acadian Hairstreak 7-26-14 1


Here are some views of our late summer prairies.

Western Prairie with Butterflyweed, Prairie Coreopsis, Spiderwort, Yellow Coneflower, and Prairie Sage

western prairie flowers 1


Western Prairie

western prairie flowers 3


Western Prairie

western prairie flowers 4


The path into the Knife Edge Prairie

knife edge entrance


Missouri Goldenrod in the Knife Edge Prairie

early goldenrod - knife edge prairie


The path into Hidden Oaks Point

Hidden oaks savanna


Hidden Oaks Point with Leadplant

hidden oaks point leadplant


This is East Center Valley Prairie – the part that we’ve been working on for the last few years.  It was an old hayfield with lots of weeds and non-native pasture grasses.  I threw lots of seed in here, and we had it sprayed to try to kill the smooth brome.  This end of it hasn’t looked good at all, so we burned it last spring, to see if getting rid of some of the thatch would help.  I don’t think the burn made much difference – the two sides of the fire break look just the same.  But the whole prairie – including the non-burned parts – looks better this year.


east center valley 3


East Center Valley – looking the other direction

east center valley 2


The cabin road

cabin road


The Narrows Prairie

narrows prairie


Black-eyed Susan

black eyed susan


This is the time of the year when I see Underwing Moths – a group of moths that have dull brown or gray patterned upper wings, but brilliant hind wings.

Pink Underwing

Catocala concumbens 8-16-14 1


Yellow-gray Underwing

Catocala retecta T 8-10-14 1


The Bride

Catocala neogama T 8-4-14 1


Yellow-banded Underwing

Catocala cerogama 8-13-14 1


And a few other favorites

Harnessed Tiger Moth

Apantesis phalerata T 8-15-14 1


Large Maple Spanworm

Prochoerodes lineola 8-13-14 1



Actias luna 8-15-14 1


Glorious Habrosyne

Habrosyne gloriosa 8-16-14 1


Black-rimmed Prominent

Pheosia rimosa 8-16-14 1