July 25, 2012

  • But we started at Gifford House parking lot where New York iron weed, which favors wet places, seemed happy enough.
  • Nearby, stripped milkweed leaves caught our attention.
  • It was not the work of monarch caterpillars, but milkweed tussock moth caterpillars. This was only the first of several instances around the parking lot.
  • In contrast, if it weren't for the movement, this immature katydid would never have been noticed.
  • The split in the Cary Pines Trail at the end of the Scotch Pine Alleé was a good butterfly spot this morning with tiger swallowtail, great spangled fritillary, red-spotted purple and others.
  • In the Fern Glen, Clethra, or sweet pepperbush, was about to bloom.
  • Near the deck, green-headed coneflower had actually started.
  • Along the road near the bridge, Indian tobacco, a lobelia, was indeed blooming.
  • Just in from the kiosk, cardinal flower, another lobelia, was bursting.
  • Farther in, white wood aster had joined the ranks of the blooming.
  • The Sedge Meadow Trail was very much alive with birds, butterflies and well, enormous flies. I think this is a white-faced fly, Archytas apicifer.
  • The back Old Hayfield had several olive hairstreaks. I find them on flowers that other butterflies seem to ignore: queen Anne's lace and yarrow.
  • In the front Old Hayfield, a meadow fritillary amazed me by sitting long enough for a photo.
  • Although the Lowlands are not part of my usual route, I feel a new species (to me) is worth mention. I'd heard suggestions that the bronze copper might be in the Lowlands, but I'd never seen it... anywhere. As I was leaving last Monday, something told me to take a stroll down there. A dogbane patch, still blooming, had a nice assortment of butterflies. Beyond, it was grassier with mostly pearl crescents and common ringlets. But one was different and landed right in front of me. To paraphrase Glassberg in his field guide, in pictures there is a similarity to the American copper; in the field there is no doubt. I got a good photo from below. Today, I'd come back for a better shot above and to see if there were more around. An hour of searching turned up only the one - and in the same spot, basking again in the tall grass. It is larger than a pearl crescent, but maybe a little smaller than a common ringlet. All three show orange in flight, but its orange is more like that of the crescent and that is perhaps why it will fly up to challenge passing crescents, but ignore ringlets. Watch them both!
Bronze Copper
New York ironweed
Common milkweed with...
...Milkweed tussock moth caterpillars
Clethra, sweet pepperbush
Green-headed coneflower
Indian tobacco
Cardinal flower
White wood aster
White-faced fly
'Olive' juniper hairstreak
Meadow fritillary
Bronze copper


  • 4 Chimney Swift
  • 1 Ruby-throated Hummingbird
  • 1 Belted Kingfisher
  • 2 Downy Woodpecker
  • 1 Northern Flicker
  • 1 Eastern Kingbird
  • 1 Warbling Vireo
  • 1 Red-eyed Vireo
  • 1 Blue Jay
  • 3 American Crow
  • 6 Black-capped Chickadee
  • 3 Tufted Titmouse
  • 4 White-breasted Nuthatch
  • 2 Eastern Bluebird
  • 3 American Robin
  • 3 Gray Catbird
  • 1 Cedar Waxwing
  • 2 Blue-winged Warbler
  • 2 American Redstart
  • 1 Worm-eating Warbler
  • 1 Scarlet Tanager
  • 5 Eastern Towhee
  • 1 Chipping Sparrow
  • 5 Field Sparrow
  • 1 Song Sparrow
  • 1 Northern Cardinal
  • 1 Rose-breasted Grosbeak
  • 2 Indigo Bunting
  • 7 American Goldfinch
  • 9 Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
  • 1 Spicebush Swallowtail
  • 59 Cabbage White
  • 6 Clouded Sulphur
  • 8 Orange Sulphur
  • 3 'Olive' Juniper Hairstreak
  • 2 Eastern Tailed-Blue
  • 1 Spring Azure
  • 13 Great Spangled Fritillary
  • 2 Meadow Fritillary
  • 31 Pearl Crescent
  • 2 Painted Lady
  • 6 Red-spotted Purple
  • 1 Northern Pearly-eye
  • 6 Appalachian Brown
  • 22 Common Ringlet
  • 17 Common Wood-Nymph
  • 8 Monarch
  • 15 Silver-spotted Skipper
  • 1 Peck's Skipper
  • 1 Crossline Skipper
  • 9 Northern Broken-Dash
  • 2 Mulberry Wing
  • 4 Dun Skipper
  • 3 Hummingbird Clearwing
  • 1 Cardinal flower
  • 1 Green-headed coneflower
  • 1 Indian tobacco
  • 1 New York ironweed
  • 1 White wood aster

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