Cool Tuesday

It’s a cool and breezy morning with not much new to see. Instead, I propose we take a look at who else was out on Sunday afternoon, when the air was warm, and the breeze was mild.

First up is a silver-spotted skipper (Epargyreus clarus), of which we first saw an example just over a week ago. Prancing from flower to flower, this guy was putting on quite a show for somebody, probably not me, but I got to watch anyway. The Pedia of Wik reports that “adult males compete for territory to attract females,” and so that is probably what he was up to.

Oh, and the flowers he was prancing between are in an amazing patch on the, now-closed, northernmost, former parking lot. It’s got daisies and daisy fleabane, white and red clover, bird’s-foot trefoil, white campion, a patch of lance-leaved tickseed, yellow sweet clover, crown vetch, and some bright-blue tufted vetch. Here are some pictures in which I attempt to capture the spectacle, but don’t really do it justice. I hope you try to see it in person. Sometimes beautiful things like this don’t last.

Next, I spotted this amazing snowberry clearwing (Hemaris diffinis), a moth that mimics the appearance, but not the sting, of a bumblebee. It may also be called the hummingbird moth, but after watching a hawk moth sip nectar from blossoms, Anne’s hostas and sadly not yet in Estabrook Park, it is my personal opinion that they deserve that title more. Plus, besides the coloration, the snowberry clearwing pictured below is also the size and shape of a bumblebee.

This tiny pair, sharing a single daisy, just barely caught my eye: a tiny bee, possibly a squash bee (Peponapis pruinosa) because of its “very hairy thorax (region behind the head)” and tiny moth, maybe one of the 326 featured on this page (let me know if you spot it).

Also striking are the various stages of a nodding or musk thistle (Carduus nutans), an invasive species, I am sad to read, growing out of a crack at the north end of the middle parking lot.

Finally, some of the tadpoles in the pond have started sporting hind legs. Next thing you know, they’ll have forelegs, too, and start walking on land.

Meanwhile, the calendar votes just keep pouring in over at the pictures page. Any day now, we’ll have a statistically relevant sample size.

Published by Andrew Dressel

Theoretical and Applied Bicycle Mechanic, and now, apparently, Amateur Naturalist. In any case, my day job is teaching mechanics at UWM.

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