Journal for July 30, 2009

Every year I have one favorite prairie – this year it’s Buffalo Ridge.  All the purple and yellow flowers are blooming, and it’s full of birds.  There aren’t as many butterflies as usual this year.  Maybe because it’s been so cool, or maybe the birds have been too efficient.

Missouri Goldenrod, Yellow Coneflower, Monarda, Prairie Coreopsis, Fleabane

Coneflowers on Buffalo Ridge

Buffalo Ridge Prairie

This one’s a runner up for favorite prairie – it’s the middle section of Western Prairie – 3 years old.

Western Prairie

And this is the southern section of Western Prairie, 4 years old.

Western Prairie

Here are some farm creatures from the last few weeks.

Black Dash female (Skipper butterfly)

Euphyes conspicua

Inchworm caterpillar on Oxeye – I don’t know the species.  This caterpillar eats parts of flowers, and will turn into a small moth.  I’m raising it so I can see what it turns into.

This was a cool find!  It’s a stack of eggs and newly hatched caterpillars of one of the Hackberry butterflies – either a Hackberry Emperor or a Tawny Emperor.  Both kinds of caterpillars eat Hackberry leaves.  I’m raising these too.

Asterocampa sp. eggs and larvae

A very friendly Eyed Brown

Satyrodes eurydice

Promethea moth eggs and newly hatched larvae  I’m raising these too, and hoping I’ll have enough next year to share.

Callosamia promethea

I discovered a new part of the wetland this week.  I’ve been there before, but never paid much attention to it.  It’s a beautiful spot!  I’ve been pulling Wild Parsnip and this fall we’ll spray some of the big Reed Canary Grass areas.  But otherwise it has sedges, Swamp and Common Milkweed, and Joe Pye Weed, as well as lots of smaller wetland plants.

Wetland with Swamp Milkweed and Joe Pye Weed

Turk’s Cap Lilies, Joe Pye Weed and Swamp Milkweed

Turk’s Cap Lily

Lilium michiganense

Two views of Pat’s Prairie

Pat's Prairie

Spiderworts in Pat’s Prairie

Tradescantia ohiensis

Whorled Milkwort  This plant is very small and often overlooked – it’s only a few inches high.

Polygala verticillata

Monarch on Oxeye

Danaus plexippus