As usual at this time of year, I’m way behind on all indoor projects including blog posts. It’s been a warm rainy time – 3 inches of rain in a week – we’ve been feeling like we’re living in a rain forest. Everything is incredibly lush and green.
Misty rain in Center Valley
Cabin Road – one of our trails through the woods
Wet woods with Ostrich Fern and Wild Geranium
This is Cabin Creek – the small stream that runs away from the spring near the cabin.
An Ovenbird taking a bath in Cabin Creek
One day the end of the rainbow was right here in Center Valley
We’re seeing lots of early summer flowers
Rainy day Spiderwort
My friend MJ came to visit, and we spent the whole day looking for bugs – a wonderful time.
It’s a time for animal babies – we see a lot of them on the trail cameras.
The fawns are very playful – skipping around while their moms keep watch.
Doe with twins
Turkey leading her babies across the creek
Wood Ducks – Mom and babies – heading to the beaver dam
And crossing the beaver dam
We have more Silvery Checkerspot butterflies than I’ve ever seen before. A few weeks ago, I found their caterpillars on every Sunflower and Oxeye plant.
Now they’re starting to hatch, and they come up in clouds when we walk on the driveway.
Mated Silvery Checkerspots
It’s been a good year for Skipper butterflies too – this is a Hobomok Skipper – a common one in early summer.
And a Northern Cloudywing – not very common in Wisconsin.
I’m so pleased with the upper part of East Center Valley. It was an old hay field, and it’s been hard to figure out how to get it back to native prairie. We’ve seeded and sprayed and mowed for 5 years. This year it’s definitely looking good – with big patches of Indian Paintbrush and Wood Betony.
Early summer flowers in Western Prairie – Northern Bedstraw, Spiderwort, Indian Paintbrush
Spiderwort and White Wild Indigo in the Narrows Prairie
A road caterpillar – the first monarch caterpillar I’ve found this year.
Our friend Bruce came for a visit, and a long prairie walk.
We set up the moth lights the night that Bruce was here. He was curious how many moths I normally see in a night. I counted the species that night – June 7 – and there were 82.
Here are a few of my favorites from the last few weeks.
Melsheimer’s Sack-bearer (Frederick Valentine Melsheimer was an early American entomologist ; maybe the ‘Sack-bearer’ has something to do with the caterpillar)