We tried to start a butterfly count for Buffalo County today, but it was cold and cloudy.
Mike Reese, Karl and Dorothy Legler and I met a the farm today, hoping to start doing the first ever Buffalo County butterfly count. Mike had figured out a circle that included our farm and Jackie’s, some of the Buffalo River Valley, and a little bit of the the wetlands along the Mississippi.
Mike and I walked 3 Finger Valley, up to Hidden Oaks, the Knife Edge, and back to the house. In that whole distance we only saw one butterfly. It was a nice one – a Striped Hairstreak.
Then we walked up Jackie’s prairie – beautiful, but only one butterfly – an Aphrodite Fritillary.
On the way back to the farm the sun came out for a few minutes, and immediately the butterflies started coming out onto the road, and the Fritillaries started flying over the prairie. We saw a Northern Crescent, at least 12 large Fritillaries, a Common Wood Nymph and a Silvery Checkerspot.
We checked out the State Wildlife Area west of Mondovi along County Road A, but it was full of Reed Canary Grass, and didn’t look very good for butterflies. There’s a bog in there somewhere, but it looked too hard to get to.
There were a few breaks in the clouds, but it was still too cold and windy for butterflies. Mike and the Leglers are off to do more counts in other counties, so unless I want to do one myself, next week, we’ll wait to do Buffalo County until next year.