When I got up the morning of the count the Doppler weather map showed a huge system of storms in Winston Salem and it was heading our way. By the time the system traveled 80 miles towards us in just dissipated into nothing. Still the morning was heavily overcast and gray, not the best for butterflying.
The host plant for the Silvery Checkerspot butterfly. At times this plant which can reach 10 ft tall can be covered in butterflies.
Can you see the wings twisting around the stem?
This mountain mint was everywhere in the Cole Mill Access of the Eno River State Park along the power line. It kept me extremely busy counting butterflies, must have been nearly an acre of this excellent butterfly attracting plant. I don't usually cover this area on the count, see the photo below.
I also had another area of yellow composites along both sides of a paved road for 1/3 mile that last year I had over 500 butterflies on. I t was mowed down just like this, didn't bother to look it made me sick to see it.
My first one of the day it was along the Eno River.
Delaware Skipper it is uncommon here, I did see 2 of these. The bright orange is telling here seeing inside the wings help to clinch the ID. Not having an inside photo I could be wrong on this and it could be a Sachem. I did see 2 Delawares both gave me open wings to confirm them.
Wild Indigo Duskywing This was the only one of this uncommon butterfly I saw. It is one a Queen Anne's Lace seed head.
Brian added a new species to the count list a Harvester!
Harvester is the only butterfly in the US with carnivorous larva which feed on Wooly Aphids and not plant material.
So the total tally for the day was 57 species of adult butterflies (+ Black Swallowtail caterpillars making 58 species, the adults were a no show) and 4540 butterflies were count in all. We were above average on species numbers and individual butterflies. Not what I expected when the day started out. Jeff's full report can be found at this link.