Another good morning for sleeping in…

And most of the critters in the park seemed to see it that way, too. Sure, there were a couple of rabbits about, and plenty of birds were singing from the safety of their well foliated branches, but the pond was still, and I saw nary a mosquito even when on the trail beside the river.

One surprise guest, who was too quick for me, appeared to have been a raccoon loping up the trail ahead of me with that distinct gait they have. My work buddy, Greg with Friends of Estabrook Park, reported seeing one searching for delectables by the Benjamin Church House recently, so we know they’re here, but he didn’t manage to get a picture either.

Thus, we are stuck again with pictures I captured yesterday, and the first one is a beauty! All I had on me at the time was my phone, and thankfully, this butterfly let me crawl up to within about a foot for this nice close-up.

That’s an American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), not to be confused with American Woman, a song by The Guess Who, who probably prefer not to be confused with The Who, who recorded Bald Headed Woman instead. Try to keep up.

Anywho, I spotted him or her on a dandelion blossom in the lawn just east of the beer garden, and it is of the same genus as the red admiral we saw back on the 12th. There is also a Painted Lady butterfly in the same genus, which looks just like our hero here, but only has black dots “on the underside of the hindwing” where the American Lady has “two large, black-ringed blue eyespots.”

Also out and enjoying the sun while it lasted was this striking female widow skimmer dragonfly (Libellula luctuosa), taking a break perhaps from chasing smaller bugs over the soccer fields.

Meanwhile, all this rain, of course, has induced some mushrooms to emerge. This one looks like it could be Conocybe apala, colloquially known as the white dunce cap, growing in the grass near the southern playground. Please note that “while it has not caused deaths, it is toxic, containing phallotoxins,” which just sounds bad, right? Therefore, please do not eat, smoke, or ingest in any way, just as with chlorine bleach.

Finally, some new blossoms are opening up, including common cinquefoil (Potentilla simplex) on the left and two-flower cynthia also known as two-flower dwarf dandelion (Krigia biflora) just opening its second set of petals on the right.

That’s all I’ve got for today, and let’s hope that a change in the weather will bring a change in the scenery, eh?

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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