Zabulon Skipper - Female
Notes and Changes since last report
- It was 85°F, partly cloudy and humid, but breezy at 2:00 PM on August 11, 2021.
- Several infrequent butterfly visitors were here today.
- Signs of late summer were appearing.
- This week's trail report covers the Wappinger Creek Trail side of the trail system.
- The dirt road to Gifford Carriage House was still damp from morning rains.
- Clouded and orange sulphurs were "puddling" together. Note the broader dark margin of the orange sulphur in the middle.
- A very nervous tawny-edged skipper kept darting back into the grass.
- Unusually small eastern tailed-blues were about, and of course pearl crescents.
- Across the front Old Hayfield, goldenrod was brightening while wild bergamot was starting to wane.
- A fresh looking Zabulon skipper was sunning in the back corner.
- Too big for a pearl crescent, too small for a great spangled frit, a meadow fritillary settled on goldenrod.
- The underside is distinctive.
- Intermediate dogbane pods were appearing as flowers were becoming fewer.
- Swallowtails were easy to spot from any vantage point.
- The male does not have as much blue as the female eastern tiger swallowtail.
- The female Zabulon skipper looks nothing like the male.
- At the corner of the Sedge Meadow Trail, the hickory was starting to drop nuts.
- That trail was lined with gray dogwood with ripening berries.
- Always welcoming, the shade over the boardwalk was life giving today.
- Overhead, a familiar "chip-burrr" was traced to a scarlet tanager starting to molt off his summer breeding plumage.
- Near the window into the Sedge Meadow, a very well worn Appalachian brown flew around me and perched in the sun.
- Through the window, all was quiet; purple loosestrife was still going strong.
- At the exit into the back Old Hayfield, a great spangled fritillary was just hanging out in the shade.
- And another female Zabulon skipper appeared. The female Hobomok skipper occasionally has a very similar dark form, but lacking the white hindwing apex.
- Wild bergamot was still looking good in the back Old Hayfield.
- A galium sphinx actually landed. These have't been around much.
- It's worth checking every spicebush swallowtail: yellow on the hindwing makes this one a black swallowtail. Thin yellow and thick blue indicate it's female.
- And below there is an extra orange spot; spicebush is missing one...
- A viceroy must have survived a bird attack. But it looks like a monarch, and monarchs taste bad. Maybe birds have to learn.
- The Wappinger Creek looked and sounded full.
- Along the lower section of the trail, sun played across the water.
- Trout were gathering in that sunny soit.
- One was a monster - the smaller ones seemed to be keeping their distance...
- Back on the bank, a broken sycamore had a shelf fungus forming at its base.
- This looked like the type of fungus that was always there before.
- Puffballs grow so quickly, we'll try to find them next week.
- Next week: the Cary Pines Trail side of the trail system.