Journal for June 30, 2007

This entry will be mostly photos. We’ve been traveling, so I’ve gotten behind, and the pictures have been taken over the last few weeks.

On our flight to New York I was looking out the window of the plane hoping to see the farm. (When we’re at the farm, we often see planes flying over. They’re at crusing altitude, so they’re very high, but we’ve always hoped that some day we’d be in one of those planes and be able to see the farm from above.)

On the day we were flying there was a storm approaching from the west, so the clouds were moving in, and I was pretty sure we wouldn’t be able to see anything. As we flew east over Wisconsin there were a few breaks in the clouds, and I peered down hoping to see something familiar. All at once I saw an area that looked right – lots of woods and winding roads. Then I saw a bend in a road that looked familiar, and all of a sudden, there was the farm! It looked just like the aerial photos we have, so it was easy to recognize. This is the aerial that the USDA took of the farm in 2005 – it looks just like the view that I saw.

A few weeks ago I visited our friends Carol and Jerry who have a farm nearby. Part of their land is a huge wetland. This is the wetland with Wild Iris in bloom.

Wild Iris (Iris versicolor)

Carol was at our farm last summer taking photographs. Here are two of her photos of deer in our prairie.

Deer photos by Carol Knabe of Golly Creek Photography

The best bird event we’ve seen recently was two Turkey Vultures sitting on the roof of our garage.

Here are some of the prairie flowers that are starting to bloom.

Butterflyweed in the Knife Edge Prairie

Butterflyweed (Asclepias tuberosa) closeup of flowers

Wild Rose (Rosa sp.)

Prairie Coreopsis on Indian Grass Prairie

Prairie Coreopsis (Coreopsis palmata)

Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata)

Closeup of flowers with pollinator

Oxeye (Heliopsis helianthoides)

Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale)

Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia)

New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus)

Buffalo Ridge Prairie has lots of Junegrass this year. I hope that won’t be a problem for the prairie. Junegrass seems to be less dominant in the Cat’s Paw Prairie this year, so hopefully it can act as a cover crop for a few years, and then it will back off after the other prairie plants start to come in.

The end of June is a good time for butterflies. The driveway is covered with them in the mornings and they fly around us in a cloud as we walk. This year most of them are Red Admirals, but there are many other species mixed in. Here are some of the ones we’ve seen in the last few weeks.

This is a very friendly Tawny Emperor

The Tawny Emperor with its wings closed.

Northern Pearly-eye.

Common Wood-nymph

Common Ringlet

A Baltimore Checkerspot on Wild Parsnip. One of the reasons Wild Parsnip is such a pest is that native insects love it – so all its flowers get pollinated and it sets lots of seeds.

Here are a series of Hairstreaks. These are very common butterflies right now, and I have trouble telling them apart. I think these are the correct IDs.

Banded Hairstreak

Banded Hairstreak

Edwards Hairstreak

The aspens that I girdled on Indian Grass Point are starting to die and there’s much more sunlight coming down into the woods. Next winter we’ll cut them down and start clearing the shrubs.

My caterpillars that I’m raising are all eating and growing. The monarchs have all made chrysalises and they’re starting to hatch. Here’s a Monarch chrysalis.

Here’s one just about ready to hatch – you can see the butterfly inside.

This is a newly hatched Monarch.

These are Cecropia caterpillars eating lilac leaves.

And this is a Polyphemus caterpillar eating oak.

This is a Polyphemus caterpillar about 10 days later, and a bit bigger.

This Polyphemus caterpillar has just shed it’s skin. I never realized that their faces are white when they have their new skin.

Here’s a sequence of the development of the American Painted Lady eggs that I found at the beginning of the summer.

Eggs on Pussytoes

Nest with caterpillars inside

Caterpillar in a nest

More Caterpillars


American Painted Lady Butterfly

Here are a few more insects.

Firefly – probably Pyractomena sp.

Meadowhawk (dragonfly)

Crocus Geometer Moth (Xanthotype sp.)

Large Lace-border Moth (Scopula limboundata)