Back to Goldenrod it was covered in mostly buckeyes and I had many opportunities to get some butterfly photos for the blog, do we have enough of them here yet?
Question Mark, Polygonia interrogationis These butterflies have two forms summer (black) and fall form (orange). You can tell the Question Mark from the Eastern Comma by the 4 spots on the center of the forewing, Eastern Comma has 3 spots. Best to check my link above too!
This time of year if your lucky and look at every buckeye you can, chances are you might find a 'rosa" form Common Buckeye which is all red on the underside. So far this year I have seen one 'rosa' in the yard and another in the field. Look at the bottom of this page to see a 'rosa' form buckeye.
Variegated Fritillary, Euptoieta claudia, I estimated seeing over 75 of these on my stroll in the impoundments! Not easy to get a photo of as they are usually very fast moving.
Sulphurs puddlingOne the left is a Sleepy Orange, the second and forth ones are Orange Sulphurs and the third one is the Cloudless Sulphur. All of these butterflies are males, males get minerals from the sand to aid in reproduction. Puddling was a big event on my walk, several places I found 50 or more Pearl Crescents and lots of Common Checkered Skippers. All of the species shown above were puddling one place or the other usually in smaller numbers.
Groundseltree, Eastern Baccharis (Baccharis halimifolia) has male and female plants, the male plants attract the butterflies. I have found that the flowers only attach butterflies for just a few days when they are yellow like in the photo above.
Here is it NPG 431 be looking for it south of North Carolina! Both Monarchs they caught were very fresh. Between Saturday and Sunday I saw something like 36 Monarchs and only 2 were beat up, the rest just as fresh as this one. Both days I was able to watch the sky and see a single Monarch floating far overhead, one of the coolest things in my memory. I have seen hundreds floating over head, to be honest seeing just one is just as good as seeing hundreds when they just drift by unknowingly to most people.
One last thing to tell you about I observed for the first time spiders ballooning high up in the sky on Saturday. The silken webs twisted and floated along in the breeze. They looked like tiny lightning bolts in the sun light. I also saw one web leave the field for the sky, that confirmed what they were. It is believed that spiders balloon to disperse to new hunting grounds.I did not see the tiny spiders only the webs...