It’s A Butterfly Time Of Year

Not that they aren’t seen earlier in the spring and summer but August does seem to be the time for butterflies. This year it’s been almost impossible to be out for any length of time without seeing a Monarch. In the late morning or afternoon small but beautiful Pearl Crescents make the shorter grass along the trail their playground. The beauty of some butterflies like the Giant Swallowtail is apparent to even a casual observer but others like the Buckeye reveal their beauty only after a closer look. Others like the hairstreaks are easy to miss altogether unless you know what to look for. The good news is that you don’t have to get up a the crack of dawn to see butterflies.

Sunlight filters through the woods along the Big Derby during a recent butterfly hike.

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So below is a celebration of butterflies that have been seen in the last few weeks. Much of the credit must go to my wife who tirelessly pursues these usually unpredictable creatures until she gets the shot she wants while I often content myself to photographing the more predictable wildflowers.

In late summer Bull Thistle is common in the prairie areas of Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park and seems to attract it’s share of Monarchs.

The Giant Swallowtail is Ohio’s largest butterfly and not one we see every day, Griggs Reservoir Park..

A Giant Swallowtail depositing eggs, (Donna).

Great Blue Lobelia enjoying the more shaded areas of Griggs Reservoir Park.

A very small female Eastern-tailed Blue rewards Donna by opening it’s wings.

Prairie sunflowers, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

The beautiful but very small Gray Hairstreak, (Donna).

Hackberry Emperors are fairly common in Griggs reservoir Park and on a warm day enjoy hitching a ride on your arm to take advantage of your perspiration, (Donna).

Cardinal Flower

A small Summer Azure almost seems to blend in, (Donna).

Wingstem, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park prairie.

The not often seen Meadow Fritillary

The fairly common but lovely Orange Sulfur, (Donna).

New England Aster

Usually not seen in central Ohio until late summer or fall the medium size Buckeye is striking, Griggs Reservoir Park, (Donna).

Fringed Loosestrife also enjoys the more shaded areas along the Scioto River.

A small Zabulon Skipper, (Donna).

A small but lovely Common Checkered Skipper, (Donna).

Lazard’s Tail along the Scioto River, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Silver Spotted Skipper, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Tall Blue Lettuce, Griggs Reservoir Park.

Red-spotted Purple, (Donna).

Another look, (Donna).

Gray-headed Coneflowers seem to take flight.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Another look.

A somewhat faded black form of the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, (Donna)

Black Swallowtail, (Donna).

Black Swallowtail laying eggs, (Donna).

Ironweed, Griggs Reservoir Park.

The Peck’s Skipper is a very small moth like butterfly, (Donna).

Cup Plant

Monarch, (Donna).

Monarch

Trumpet Flowers, (Donna).

Mating Pearl Crescents

Pearl Cresent

Tall Bellflower

Eastern Comma

The tiny flowers of Virginia Knotweed.

Certainly not the most aesthetic setting, a Zebra Swallowtail lands in our canoe just as we finish a paddle on Paint Creek, (Donna).

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Where there are butterflies and moths there are caterpillars and no one is better at spotting them than my wife.

Brown-hooded Owlet, (Donna).

Monarch caterpillar, (Donna).

Orange Dog (Giant Swallowtail caterpillar), (Donna).

Another look.

Black Swallowtail caterpillar showing horns. Horns extend when head is touched lightly. Donna).

Without horns protruding, (Donna).

Sycamore Tussock Moth caterpillar, (Donna).

Milkweed Tussock Moth caterpillars, (Donna).

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We would be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge some of the birds that continue to charm us as we walk through the woods of central Ohio.

Male Goldfinch, (Donna).

This time of year False Dragonhead can be seen along the shore of Griggs Reservoir.

A Ruby throated Hummingbird checks out the Bull Thistle at Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park, (Donna).

Woodland Sunflowers offer a splash of color in the woods along the Scioto River.

A Tufted Titmouse checks Donna out as she attempts to take it’s picture.

Indigo Bunting, Battelle Darby Creek Metro Park.

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So what was I doing while my wife was taking so many excellent photographs in central Ohio? Fishing in Michigan of course.

This nice Largemouth Bas went swimming right after posing for this picture.

Fishing at sunset on Devoe Lake, Rifle River Recreation Area.

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If time spent in nature speaks to the essence of your being, your soul, you have riches greater than any material procession can offer. A wealth that grows in health, spirit, and the awareness of being part of the greater mystery. Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

Alum Creek Reservoir Paddle – Howard Rd to Kilborne

We usually like to paddle Alum Creek Reservoir from the Howard Road Bridge launch north past the bridge at Kilborne at least two times each summer. The nesting platforms at the north end of the reservoir usually guarantee good views of Osprey and as we make our way along the shoreline there are always a few surprises. Today was no exception with bird sightings that included;  Prothonotary Warblers. Pileated Woodpeckers, Spotted Sandpipers, Green and Great Blue Herons, Eastern Wood Peewees, King Birds and Bald Eagles. We were also surprised to see a Wood Duck and her ducklings this late in the summer. With Mallards we’ve noticed that nesting times can vary a lot so maybe that also the case with Wood Ducks. In addition there were a variety of turtles that always amaze us by how wary they are as we approach in the canoe. I would have loved a picture of the two large dragonflies we saw crash land in the lake as they engaged in aerial combat. They both managed to get themselves out of the water.

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The east side of the reservoir has several cliff areas that are always beautiful to paddle along and once you begin to enter the river the beauty becomes more intimate. With all the recent rain, the surrounding woods were a lush shade of green.

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If you want a better look click on the image.

Alum Creek Landscape 1 - DMP

Alum Creek Landscape 1 – DMP

Wood Duck & Chicks - DMP

Wood Duck & ducklings – DMP

Spotted Sandpiper

Spotted Sandpiper

Bald Eagle 1

Bald Eagle 1

Bald Eagle 2

Bald Eagle 2

Bald Eagle 3

Bald Eagle 3

Bald Eagle 4

Bald Eagle 4

Bald Eagle 5

Bald Eagle 5

Osprey 1

Osprey 1

Osprey 2

Osprey 2

Osprey with fish

Osprey with fish

Osprey Platform

Osprey Platform

Caterpillar - DMP

Sycamore Tussock Moth caterpillar – DMP

Juvenile Red Tail - DMP

Juvenile Red Tail – DMP

Green Heron - DMP

Green Heron – DMP

Spotted Sandpiper - DMP

Spotted Sandpiper – DMP

Alum Creek Landscape 2

Alum Creek Landscape 2

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Thanks for stopping by.

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