First Griggs Reservoir Green Heron of The Year

We paddle the reservoir near our home for exercise, just to be outdoors, to observe nature, and hopefully to get a few pictures of what we see.

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Green Herons have been scarce so far this year, that is. until a recent paddle, when we found them at the reservoir’s north end. I guess the ten mile round trip paddle to see our first Griggs Reservoir Green Heron of the year just contributed to the magic.

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Distance and light contributed to a very average shot of a Osprey.

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Osprey in flight, Griggs Reservoir

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Kingfishers were a little more cooperative

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Female Kingfisher, Griggs Reservoir

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Another view, (Donna)

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One of many Great Blue Herons that observed our paddle north on the reservoir.

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Great Blue Heron, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna)

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A sandpiper let’s us get close enough for a shot.

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Spotted Sandpiper, Griggs Reservoir

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On our return trip the warm sun brought the turtles out. This pair were an unlikely couple.

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Eastern Spiny Soft-shell with friend, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna).

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Baby Map Turtle, Griggs Reservoir, (Donna)

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Flowers, wild and domesticated, graced the shoreline.

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Some type of hosta, (Donna).

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Monkey flower at the north end of the reservoir

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North end of the reservoir.

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A favorite spot for Green Herons

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A marshy area, the perfect Green Heron habitat.

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Donna moves in for a close-up.

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Green Heron close-up, (Donna)

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A Green Heron pose, (Donna).

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A little more animated

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It was a good day. A nice balance between all the things we look for when out in nature.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Looking for a Buckeye (but not in Ohio)

So far this summer Buckeye butterflies have been scarce in central Ohio. However, on a recent trip south to northeast Georgia, we were fortunate enough to see our first of the year. While I was preoccupied with family matters my ever diligent wife documented  butterflies seen during our daily hikes.

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She was kind enough to share her photos for the post. A few of the butterflies were first time sightings for us. This is not because they’re rare but because we don’t usually visit the southeast part of the country in August and their range may not extend as far north as Ohio. Of those seen for the first time, we thought the Long-tailed Skipper was the most unusual and for us the most exciting.

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Hoary Edged Skipper 5 LL 3 081815 GA trip cp1

Hoary Edged Skipper (1st time sighting)

buckeye 1 wings full out 1 best 1 081715 GA trip cp1

Buckeye

Gulf Fritillary 4 best ever 1 081615 GA trip cp1

Gulf Fritillary

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1 LL 1 best 1 081815 GA trip csb1

Female Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Clouded Sulphur 2 upside down 2 best ever 1 081815 Ga trip cp1

Clouded Sulphur

Clouded Skipper 3 best 2 closer 1 081815 Ga trip cp1

Clouded Skipper (1st time sighting)

Carolina Satyr LL 1 best 1 081615 ga trip cp1

Carolina Satyr (1st time sighting)

Variegated Fritillary trio 1 081615 GA trip cp1

Variegated Fritillary trio (1st time sighting)

Variegated Fritillary 1 on straw 1 081615 ga trip cp1

Variegated Fritillary

Spicebush Swallowtail 2 wings out 1 best 1 081815 Ga trip cp1

Spicebush Swallowtail

Sachem Skipper 1 LL 1 best 1 081815 GA trip cp1

Sachem Skipper (1st time sighting)

Sachem female skipper 2 best 2 closer 1 081815 Ga trip cp1

Sachem skipper, female

red-spotted purple 3 wings out 2 head on 1 best 1 081615 ga trip cp1

Red-spotted Purple

Long tailed Skipper 4 LR 1 best 1 081615 GA trip cp1

Long-tailed Skipper (1st time sighting)

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We’re now back in Ohio and we’ll probably see our first Buckeye any day now as they tend to visit later in the summer. Nonetheless, it’s been a great year for butterflies and our trip south just added to it.

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 Thanks for stopping by.

“Up North” in Michigan

Every year for the past ten or so we’ve travelled from central Ohio to the northeast part of Michigan’s lower peninsula for a few days of “catch and release” fishing.

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Devoe Lake, (Keith)

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Although certainly providing it’s own challenges and excitement, it not so much about the fishing as just being there. We’re “Up North” after all, a special place for many of us who grew up further south.

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Ready to launch, showing rod setup and remotely actuated “fish cam”, Devoe Lake

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Jimmy fishing, Devoe Lake

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Looks like a promising area, Devoe Lake, (Keith)

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Jeff with a nice LM Bass caught using a Wacky Rig, (Keith)

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AuSable River SM Bass using a gold Rapala, “fish cam”.

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“Up North” magic; perhaps it’s a quiet misty morning with a distant Loon’s call or the long trail of  splashes as it slowly accelerates running, flying, then finally, after what seems like way to long, breaking the water’s hold. At night it may be the call of a Barred Owl or the laugh of a coyote. Unlike past years, this year the Whippoorwills were quiet as the sky darkened just after sunset, replaced later by the silent flashes of light from the Perseid meteor shower.

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Various wildflowers grace the shore of Devoe Lake

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A Green Heron watches as a fisherman’s cast breaks the water’s surface.

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A Loon swims close to the canoe, Devoe Lake

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Then a pair follow suit, Devoe Lake.

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Deer watch curiously along the shore, Devoe Lake.

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A small island provide a welcome place for a break, Devoe Lake.

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As if from an upstream lake or adjacent woods, magic finds it’s way to the river, it’s clear water flowing silently over sand and smooth rocks, interrupted occasionally by green.

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Launching on the Rifle River

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Dead Ash trees along the river caused by the Emerald Ash Borer.

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Late afternoon on the Rifle River

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Jim and Keith on the Rifle River.

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Rifle River tunnel.

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Occasionally an insect or a flower becomes the magic, seemingly more vivid and clear than it would be nearer to home.

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Along the Rifle River, a female White-faced Meadowhawk perches, seemingly unperturbed, as we launch our canoes.

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A closer look.

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Hard to miss, a bright slime mold on forest leaf litter, Rifle River Rec Area, MI.

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Lobelia kalmia, Brook lobelia, Rifle River Rec Area, MI.

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Joe-Pye Weed, Rifle River Rec Area, MI.

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Turtlehead, Rifle River Rec Area, MI.

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In the middle of the lake a Vesper Bluet damselfly finds the canoe.

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A closer look.

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Late in the day, the wind gone, the lake’s surface creates a canvas of light, shadow, and sky.

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Reflections, Devoe Lake, Rifle River Rec Area, MI.

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Near sunset, Devoe Lake, Rifle River Rec Area, MI.

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Racing the storm, Devoe Lake, (Keith}

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Illusion, Devoe Lake

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Again we are left with memories that sustain imagination and dreams until next year’s trip north.

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Camp, Devoe Lake Rustic Campground

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Thanks for stopping by.

As Summer Goes On . . .

Photos often result from our time spent in nature but they are seldom the only reason we’re out there. Truth is, we just love being outdoors. Part of the fun is looking closely to see what each new day brings. Perhaps it’s a flower, butterfly, bird, or something else that appears unexpectedly.

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Below is a pictorial ramble through things seen in the last few weeks in central Ohio that amazed or enchanted.

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The summer flowers have really been coming through for us this year.

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Swamp Rose Mallow, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

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Halberd-leaved Rose-Mallow along water’s edge, Griggs Reservoir

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Monkey Face along Griggs Reservoir

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Trumpet Flower along Griggs Reservoir

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Checking out the Lizard’s tail, Griggs Reservoir

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A closer look.

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While things are starting to dry out from an unusual amount of early summer rain, it continues to be a good year for fungi.

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Taking a close look at mushrooms in a neighbors lawn reveals unexpected beauty.

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White Jelly fungus, Griggs Park

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Chicken Mushroom, Griggs Park

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It’s harder to find warblers now but other birds are filling in.

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While kayak fishing on O’Shaughnessy Reservoir this immature Black-crowned Night Heron was spotted along the shore. A real treat!

 

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Adult Black-crowned Night Heron, Griggs Reservoir.

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Solitary Sandpiper on mudflats, Paint Creek Reservoir

Phoebe 2 LR 2 with bug 2 closer 1 080415 paint creek   cp1

Eastern Phoebe with a snack, Paint Creek, (Donna)

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Killdeer on mud flats, Paint Creek

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Green Heron, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

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Great Egret, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

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Taking flight, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir

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Baby mallard, Griggs Reservoir

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Double Crested Cormorants in the middle of Griggs Reservoir

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Portrait of a Great Blue Heron, Griggs Reservoir.

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At first we thought it might be a beaver.

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Muskrat, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.

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Insects continue to satisfy our curiosity.

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Black Swallowtail, Paint Creek

Puddling 5 better 2 080415 Paint Creek cp1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtails puddling, Paint Creek, (Donna)

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A closer look, Paint Creek

Blue-fronted Dancer 2 head on 1 good 1 080415 Paint Creek   cp1

Blue-fronted Dancer, Paint Creek, (Donna)

American Rubyspot 3 on stick 2 closer better 1 080415   Paint Creek cp1

American Rubyspot, Paint Creek, (Donna)

Stream Bluet and American Rubyspot 1 best 1 080415 Paint   Creek cp1

Stream Bluet and American Rubyspot , Paint Creek, (Donna)

PPowdered Dancer 4 LR 3 closer 1 080415 Paint Creek   cp1

Powdered Dancer, Paint Creek, (Donna)

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Ebony Jewelwing, Griggs Reservoir.

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Female Ebony Jewelwing, Griggs Reservoir

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Stream Bluets mating, Griggs Reservoir

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Cicada, front yard.

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.   .   .   and it’s always nice to see turtles and snakes some of which were in unexpected locations due to recent high water.

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Painted Turtle, O’Shaughnessy Reservoir.

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Snapping Turtle, Scioto River just below Griggs Dam.

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Garter Snake, Scioto River just below Griggs Dam.

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Common Water Snake, Scioto River just below Griggs Dam.

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Sometimes it’s just the place.

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Cove, Griggs Reservoir

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Paint Creek riffles, heading further upstream would have meant more dragging than paddling.

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Cliffs along Paint Creek.

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Lunch stop, Paint Creek

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It was very quiet as we paddled along the cliffs, Paint Creek Reservoir.

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Looking north on Paint Creek Reservoir as cormorants enjoy their sunny perch.

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O’Shaughnessy Reservoir looking much more isolated than it actually is.

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Thanks for stopping by.

A Butterfly Blast at Griggs Reservoir Park

Many of us have had the opportunity to visit a live butterfly exhibit at a local botanical garden and marvel at their beauty and diversity.  Seeing a large number of different species in that setting would not be a great accomplishment. But how about 12 species, more than 10 in just one three hour period, all at a park near your home in the middle of an Ohio city?

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That’s exactly what happened to us during a recent visit to Griggs Reservoir Park.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtails were everywhere.

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on button bush 1 072815 Griggs   s. csb1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1 LL best 1 071415 Griggs south   cp1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on Downy False Foxglove 1 080215   griggs cp1

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna)

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Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, dark female

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The Question Mark butterfly was not quite as common.

Question Mark 2 wings full out 1 080215 Griggs cp1

Question Mark, (Donna)

Question Mark 3 LL 3 best 1 072815 Griggs s. cp1-2

Question Mark, (Donna)

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A common butterfly seldom seen with it’s wings spread.

Cabbage White 2 wings full out 1 080215 Griggs cp1

Cabbage White, (Donna)

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Zabulon Skipper, a very small butterfly.

Skipper zabulon and bee 072815 Griggs s.   cp1

Zabulon Skipper being photo bombed by a bee, (Donna)

Skipper zabulon  072815 Griggs s.   cp1

Zabulon Skipper on Button Bush, (Donna)

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The very small Peck’s Skipper.

Skipper Peck's on bull thistle 072815 Griggs s.   cp1

Peck’s Skipper on Bull Thistle, (Donna).

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Given the threats to the area in which they over winter in Mexico, we’re always excited when we see a Monarch.

Monarch 1 full out 1 best 1 072815 griggs s. cp1

Monarch, (Donna)

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Monarch Butterfly

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It’s been a great year for seeing the American Snout.

American Snout 2 LR by water 2 better 1 071415 Griggs   south cp1

American Snout, (Donna)

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Hackberry Emperors are common but beautiful nonetheless.

Hackberry Emperor 5 wings out on flower 1 080215 Griggs   cp1

Hackberry Emperor, (Donna)

Hackberry Emperor 3 LR 1 on log 1 best 1 080215 Griggs   cp1

Hackberry Emperor, (Donna)

 

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Hackberry Emperor

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Another common butterfly, the Clouded Sulphur.

Clouded Sulphur 1 looking up 1 080215 Griggs cp1

Clouded Sulphur, (Donna)

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Clouded Sulphur

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A Red-spotted Purple even made an appearance.

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A Red-spotted Purple strikes a nice pose.

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Red Admirals may have been the most common.

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Red Admirals in the rain garden.

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Red Admiral

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Red Admiral

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We were pretty excited when we saw a Black Swallowtail.

Black Swallowtail 5 LL best 1 072815 griggs s. cp1

Male Black Swallowtail, (Donna)l

Black swallowtail female 2 looking up 1 080215 Griggs   cp1

Female black Swallowtail, (Donna)

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Other flying critters were also seen.

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A Song Sparrow overlooks one of the rain gardens at Griggs Park.

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Rain Garden Goldfinch

Hummingbird Moth 3 best 2 071415 Griggs south cp1

Hummingbird moths also like the rain gardens.

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Closer to home, our mail carrier spotted this Luna moth while making her rounds.

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Luna Moth, taken with the mail carriers cell phone.

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Perhaps the rain gardens, that were built to keep road runoff from flowing directly into the reservoir, are the reason for all the butterflies, we’re not sure as some butterflies were seen at other locations. Whatever the reason, we’ve been one of the beneficiaries.

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Rain Garden, Griggs Park

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Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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