Sunday, May 15, 2011

Butterfly & cicada walk and goat rescue

Today I went to Hillsborough for the dedication of the Pollinator Garden by the local beekeeping club. So I walked about a bit, the rain finally quit for now. First I dropped in on the Occoneechee State Preserve to look for dragonflies. Nothing special in dragonflies as they reworked(drained and installed new dams) the ponds a few years ago and recovery is not fully happened yet.  As I was walking a spotted an Eastern Pine Elfin on an ox-eyed daisy, might have been a preserve record, I'm not sure.

Left the preserve and headed the long way home, caught the Durham Garden Center before closing and picked up two dwarf spiderworts. 'Danielle' is a dwarf white spiderwort and 'Marielle' is a dwarf sky blue spiderwort. Pretty excited about getting a white spiderwort!

Drove out on Cole Mill Rd and saw a cicada cross the road at the Eno River State Park Cole Mill Access. I'd been wanting to walk the power line trail to look for butterflies it is one of my favorite butterfly watching spots. Before I got out of the car I heard waves of cicadas calling in the woods. Been wanting to take in a cicada concert for weeks. The next concert here will be in 13 years once these are done.

All these photos were taken with my Canon G11 point and shoot, left the big gun camera at home. Above is a butterfly orgy, well almost. There were 2 female Silvery Checkerspots with 3 males wanting to breed with them. If you look closely you can see all 5 butterflies on this single ox-eyed daisy. The female has the fatten abdomen in the center of the photo. Notice the more slender abdomen on the lower checkerspot it is a male and you can see slightly different wing markings too.
My first great Spangled Fritillaries this year. Usually when the white milkweed is in bloom they show up, it is in bloom. There were 4 of these fritillaries on this storm knocked down thistle when I found them. Thistle can be a butterfly magnet.
Saw 4 of these very uncommon Eastern Pine Elfins today. So far this year I have been lucky to see one on March 20th, April 17th and today May 15th. Not many times can you see any elfin during three different months. The Eastern Pine Elfin has a long spread out brood unlike the other elfins.

 Ebony Jewelwing damselfly my first one this year. And even better it let me get 2 inches from it for this photo!
The 13 year Cicada, I heard likely thousands of them up it the trees along the Eno River. One trail intersection must have had between 300-500 holes where they emerged in the mud in 6-8 foot of trail. I found the most exoskeletons  in mature ironwood trees.
These exoskeletons were on a poison ivy leaf.

Thought I let you hear the chorus of the cicada. These are called Brood XIX or the Great Southern Brood. I do recall this brood 13 years ago along the Eno River. Before these I have a memory of the 17 year cicada in Ohio Brood X or the Great Eastern Brood in 1970, it was massive at our house thousands flying everywhere, considered to be the largest brood ever recorded from what I have read.

OK now the goat rescue. We ate breakfast on the screened in porch around 8 am. We heard a goat calling non stop. Meg thought it was stuck in the fence next door. We both figured the stupid neighbors would take care of it shortly. These neighbors are the ones with the crazy loud as #$#@ peacocks that call all night. We keep our windows open whenever possible, apparently they close their windows tight. Meg was making dinner and the goat was still calling at 7pm 11 hours after we heard it in the morning. I walked through the woods and sure enough it had its head stuck in the fence just as Meg suggested. I carefully helped it get free. Some people should not be allowed to keep animals, they have donkeys, goats, ducks (no wait I think a fox got them), peacocks and chickens.
Here he is happy to be free again. Meg used to have goats and she said they get stuck in the fence fairly easily.


tina said...

Poor little goat. Good thing you all came along. Yes, some people should not be allowed to have animals. The butterfly pictures are amazing. Such great captures. I haven't seen any of the southern brood here yet. I think we might be just out of it's range but we'll see.

Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Goats are funny looking critters. Glad you all rescued him.
Your butterfly photos always amaze me. I try to photograph some and poof...they have flittered off to other places. Oh well, I can enjoy yours.
That Ebony Jewelwing damselfly is beautiful.
I only have to venture out my door to hear that song! I am glad they quiet down at night. It is enough to make you go stir crazy!

Jen said...

I love all your insect photos so much, thank you for posting them!

John said...

Great photo of that Cicada. They look really interesting close up. Those red eyes are spectacular against the green leaf.

Karen said...

Once again, amazing, amazing photos. I hope you didn't touch the poison ivy leaf! The cicadas are certainly not what I thought they looked like, when I was kid, my folks called them darning needles (good question why, I thought Darning Needles were Walking Sticks, oh never mind!) The butterflies are incredibly beautiful.

We had a friend who owned a menagerie at one time, peacocks, goats, ducks, chickens, etc. and the peacocks were so loud. Her now ex-husband said he loved to annoy the neighbors by keeping the peacocks with their hair-raising screams. I thought it was a high price to pay to be annoying, because he had to live with the racket, too. And you're right, he kept his windows shut tight. (Idiot.)

So good of you to rescue the goat, poor thing.

Phillip said...

Outstanding photos! The sound clip is just what it is like out at my mother's house in the country. Poor goat, you are a good neighbor to rescue him.

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

The Spangled Fritillaries are just gorgeous! Such a vibrant orange hue. As for the goat, I agree, some people simply shouldn't have animals. I can't believe the poor thing was stuck in the fence all that time and they didn't notice. So glad you took the time to investigate, even though it wasn't your goat. Those horns are a liability when it comes to fence snagging. I'm sure he'll do it again unless they modify the fence. If memory serves, your bees arrive this week don't they?

PlantPostings said...

Silly goat! He's fortunate you happened along. Your photos are amazing all the way around!

Casa Mariposa said...

I volunteer at a no-kill animal shelter and the same can be said for pet owners. Our dogs back stories are heart breaking. Good luck with the bees and thanks for the butterfly comment. I have tons of butterflies in my garden every summer. I'm just rotten at catching any pix of them!

Anonymous said...

I love goats! So happy this story had a happy ending. :-)

Andrea said...

Beautiful photos you got here. Our butterflies arrive after the first rains because our dry seasons are really dry leaving them no food at all. I laughed at the cicada audio, ours i think are louder and more irritating than that. They are also greyish and more boring looking than yours. We have them during the dry season which aggravates the feeling of heat. I know they stay long years as pupa, but i havent seen those exoskels yet, nor the younger stages.

Anonymous said...

Poor little goat, I'm so glad you helped him get free! Enjoyed the butterfly pictures, as usual. I saw my first butterflies of the year today, but they went by so fast I couldn't tell you what kind they were.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

We had goats growing up and to say that they get themselves stuck is an understatement! They look for trouble.