Late Spring Celebration; A Warbler and Much More

Nature unfolds and reveals itself like a flower, first reluctantly and then with grace. Armed with just a little curiosity, looking with intention, and allowing yourself  to be in the moment and place, rewards one with new wonder. Seeing and appreciating more each time.

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In the past few days, still interested in finding warblers, we visited Prairie Oaks Metro Park and closer to home Griggs Reservoir Park in the hopes of seeing a few stragglers. With the exception of the Prothonotary, the warblers didn’t cooperate but fortunately other things did. Whether it’s warblers or “other things” we’re always amazed by the celebration of life this time of year and the beauty that’s often found in the ordinary. The pictures below were taken over just a few outings, typically involving walks of at least two or three miles, sometimes longer, as we search for birds, bugs, and plants. It is a source of continuous fascination that so much can be found so close to home in central Ohio.

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A shaft of light finds grass along a stream, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

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It’s always nice when “the reptiles” decide to join the cast.

Next to the path a turtle acts none to happy about our presence, Prairie Oak Metro Park.

A Bullfrog shows a nice profile, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

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Still in “warbler mode” on a recent outing, we weren’t prepared for all the insects we would see.

Familiar Bluet, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Ebony Jewelwing Damselfly, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Inch Worm, (Donna).

Daddy Longlegs, (Donna)

Spicebush Swallowtail

Silver Spotted Skipper, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

A very common Cabbage White, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Painted Lady, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Virginia Ctenucha, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

Viceroy, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

Eight-spotted Forester Moth, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Large Lace-boarder Moth, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Milkweed Beetle, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Silvery Checkerspot, Prairie Oaks Metro Park, (Donna).

Green Bee on Coneflower, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Hackberry Emperor, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

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Where there are bees and butterflies there will be wildflowers or maybe it’s the other way around.

Butterfly Weed, Griggs Reservoir Park.

In grassy areas and meadows English Plantain is everywhere, Griggs Reservoir Park is no exception.

Very small bees visit the very small flowers of the English Plantain.

Hairy Wild Petunia (Ruellia humilis), Griggs Reservoir Park.

Black-eyed Susans, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Thimbleweed, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Early Meadow Rue, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Day Lily, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Goatsbeard, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Moth Mullein, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Chicory, Griggs Reservoir Park.

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While we were excited to see Prothonotary Warblers nesting so close to home there was no storage of other birds to fascinate.

We’d been seeing this nesting Prothonotary Warbler for a few weeks in Griggs Reservoir Park. We finally were able to get some pictures.

It must be nesting nearby because at one point it was observed taking food to it’s young.

Preening.

No spot is missed!

The Rose-breasted Grosbeak is not common this time of year in Griggs reservoir Park.

A Downy Woodpecker making effective use of it’s tail, Griggs Reservoir Park.

An adult Killdeer tries to get our attention, Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

It tries a little harder, something must be going on.

Sure enough!

A male Baltimore Oriole makes it’s presence known in Griggs Reservoir Park. It’s been a great year for these birds in the park.

This Northern Flicker, often seen in a fairly localized area, must have a nest nearby, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Numerous Catbirds continue to entertain in Griggs Reservoir Park.

A Mallard keeps an eye on us as we walk along the water in Griggs Reservoir Park.

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A stream benefits from recent rain in Prairie Oaks Metro Park.

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Nature unfolds and reveals itself like a flower, first reluctantly and then with grace. May you be rewarded with new wonder, seeing and appreciating more each time.

Chipmunk, Griggs Reservoir Park.

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Thanks for stopping by.

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XXX

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Should you wish prints from various posts may be purchased at Purchase a Photo. If you don’t find it on the link drop us a line.

 

 

 

 

 

Turtles, Snakes, Hawks . . . , Oh My!

Recent explorations in the central Ohio natural places have been good to us. As mentioned in previous posts the warblers are becoming quieter and much harder to find but as is often the case we find other things to fascinate. Below are some discoveries from the past week.

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Early summer wildflowers and flowering trees and bushes.

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Hairy Beardtongue, Griggs Park, (Donna FZ200).

 

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Squaw Root, Highbanks Metro Park. Never what one would think of as attractive this example is a bit past it’s prime

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Purple Rocket, Griggs Park.

 

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Flower of the Tulip Tree, Highbanks.

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Fire Pink, Glacier Ridge Metro Park.

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Spiderwort, Glacier Ridge.

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Hairy Hawkweed, Glacier Ridge.

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Squarrose Sedge, Glacier Ridge.

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Mystery flowering bush, Griggs Park, (Donna FZ200).

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Goats beard, non-native, Griggs Park, (Donna FZ200).

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Blue Flag Iris, Kiwanis Riverway Park, (Donna, FZ200).

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Virginia Waterleaf, Highbanks. It’s unusual that the leaves are still variegated. The variegated leaves are one of the beautiful things to look for on the forest floor in the early spring.

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Closer look at a waterleaf flower.

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While we’re not seeing the warblers now other birds are still cooperating.

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Red-tailed Hawk, Griggs Park, (Donna, FZ200).

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Red-bellied Woodpecker, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

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An easy to hear hard to see Red-eyed Vireo, O’Shaughnessy Nature Preserve, Twin Lakes Area.

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Great Blue Heron takes a momentary swim in Griggs Reservoir, Canon SX40.

 

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The Prothonotary Warblers continue their nesting activity below Griggs Dam along the Scioto River, SX40.

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In the Scioto Below Griggs Dam a Great Blue Heron waits for a lunch delivery, Canon SX40.

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Eastern Phoebe, Highbanks.

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Song Sparrow, Glacier Ridge.

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Barn Swallow, Glacier Ridge.

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Field Sparrow with a mouthful, Glacier Ridge.

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This past week it was fascinating to see Snapping Turtles laying their eggs at Griggs Park.

Snapping Turtle 5 LL 1 best 1 053116 Griggs North cp1

Snapping Turtle, Griggs Park, (Donna, FZ200).

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Snapping turtle nest. This one may have already been raided by a raccoon.

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Other reptiles and amphibians also made an appearance.

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Rat Snake high off the forest floor in a tree hole, Highbanks, (Donna, ZS50).

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Bullfrog tadpole, Glacier Ridge.

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Bullfrog, Glacier Ridge.

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We’re heading into the insect time of year. Confirmed by the number seen recent walks.

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Bumble Bee, Griggs Park, (Donna, FZ200).

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Zabulon Skipper, Griggs Park, (Donna, FZ200).

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Silver-spotted Skipper, Kiwanis Riverway Park.

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Cabbage White Bouquet, Griggs Park, (Donna, FZ200).

 

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Tawny-edged Skipper, Griggs Park, (Donna, FZ200).

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Common Whitetail, (F), Highbanks, ZS50.

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Common Whitetail (M), Highbanks, ZS50.

 

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Female Blue Dasher, Griggs Park, (Donna, FZ200)

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When you’re looking for interesting insects and flowers other things magically appear.

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Bleeding Tooth, Highbanks, (Donna, ZS50)

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Dead tree, the victim of “bootstrap fungus Bootstrap fungus is caused by honey mushrooms, which are parasitic on live wood and send out long root like structures called rhizomorphs between the wood of a tree and its bark”. (thanks NH Garden Solutions for the ID help!), Highbanks.

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Hope everyone enjoyed our nature menagerie.

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Fishing on the Scioto below Griggs Dam, SX40.

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Until next time, thanks for stopping by.

xxx

 

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)

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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.

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Question Mark, (Donna)

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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.

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

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Zabulon Skipper on Button Bush, (Donna)

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The very small Peck’s Skipper.

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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.

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American Snout, (Donna)

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Hackberry Emperors are common but beautiful nonetheless.

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Hackberry Emperor, (Donna)

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Hackberry Emperor, (Donna)

 

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Hackberry Emperor

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Another common butterfly, the Clouded Sulphur.

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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.

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Male Black Swallowtail, (Donna)l

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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

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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.

 

 

What’s a Hawk Supposed To Do?

A 8:30 AM start to our paddle on Griggs Reservoir a few days ago meant we weren’t expecting to see much wildlife, but a sunny day with little wind meant a good day for a paddle.

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The first order of business was to check out the cove, not far from our launch site, usually good for birds, to see what might be lurking. After a few minutes of quiet waiting, we were excited to see our first Black-crowned Night Heron of the year. It had apparently decided to hang around a little later into the day just for us.

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Black-crowned Night Heron, Griggs Reservoir

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Black-crowned Night Heron’s can be found in a few isolated locations around Columbus. Griggs Reservoir is one of them. A real treat!

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Leaving the heron we hugged the west shore as we headed north.

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Catalpa Flowers, (Donna)

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The west shore of the reservoir.

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Thistle? (Donna)

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We hadn’t paddled long when we saw a Red-tailed Hawk posed majestically in the top of a tall pine right along the shore.

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Red-tailed Hawk

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I took a few pictures but it was hard not to notice the orange streaks in the viewfinder, so I kept shooting.

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The attack begins . . .

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From all angles.

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Reinforcements arrive.

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The attack continues . . .

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After more attacks than the number of pictures indicates, the hawk decides to take flight. Leaving the area to the orioles.

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A little further on we see the reason of the orioles aggressive behavior. They were nesting.

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Male Baltimore Oriole at nest.

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We reached the Hayden Run Bridge and decided a break was in order. Once out of the canoe it wasn’t long before Donna was finding interesting things to look at and photograph.

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Time for a break, Hayden Run Falls Park.

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Hayden Run

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Eastern Comma, (Donna)

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Fragile Forktail, (Donna)

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Hairy Beardtongue, (Donna)

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Along with the beauty of Ohio’s waterways and natural areas there’s always the other stuff, predominately beverage containers, but also other associated trash. Based on observations paddling in states that have beverage container deposit laws, most of the trash seen in Ohio reservoirs is due to the lack of such a law. The trash either gets in them directly or via the storm sewers. Below is an example of some of the trash we were able to retrieve during our 3 hour 5 mile paddle.

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By the time we got back to our launch site we had accumulated quite a bit more.

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The return trip was pleasant but relatively uneventful with few photo opportunities, but it had been a good day for a paddle. To end on a high note, I thought I’d dress up the end of this post with a few more nice butterfly photos taken by my wife.

butter Cabbage white 3 solo one 060715 Griggs south cp1

Cabbage White, (Donna)

butter Cabbage white 2  pair 2 0607 15 Griggs cp1

Cabbage White, (Donna)

butter Red Admiral 3 full out 1 060715 Griggs south cp1

Red Admiral, (Donna)

butter Hackberry Emperor 6 wing backlit 1 best 1 060715 Griggs   south cp1

Hackberry Emperor, (Donna)

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Thanks for stopping by.

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