The Wanderer

Here’s Red, the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) I met this morning in the grass by the parkway north of the Benjamin Church House.

Red was on a mission, but I think maybe the landscape has changed since he last came this way, and he was not going to like what he found. Therefore, with the Farmers Market imminent, I violated the Prime Directive once again, and brought Red back to a better spot on the river, where I have seen several other turtles before. Happily, Anne just happened to be nearby and recorded my transgression.

Red was pretty funny. He’d just hang out, looking around, as I hiked along the trail until he could hear or see water. Then his claws went wild, and I had to hold on tight. As we neared the big mudflats I had in mind, we crossed yet one more stream, and he really let me have it. I didn’t actually drop him, but if I didn’t set him down right away, I might have. I grabbed my camera in hopes of getting a goodbye shot, maybe with him looking over his shoulder at me with a tear in his eye, but he was not having it. I thought maybe I’d done enough damage for today, and I just let him go.

Here’s hoping that he likes the new spot on the river better than the one he left and can now stay put until next time. I’m pretty sure he’s not going to find what he’s looking for east of the parkway.

Anyway, the monarchs sure seemed to be in a photogenic mood this morning because they were posing everywhere. Here they are on purple coneflower, on swamp milkweed, and on bull thistle.

Maybe it was the weather because they weren’t the only ones so inclined. Here’s a stunning female eastern black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) on red clover and a pretty little banded hairstreak (Satyrium calanus) on Queen Anne’s lace.

And that’s a wrap. Till next time, stay cool out there.

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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