What a beautiful morning it was: not too hot, not too cool, and very still. Many of the birds are starting to quiet down, especially the grackles and red-winged blackbirds, so the few that are still singing, wrens and buntings, really stand out. Happily, there are still plenty of creatures, old and new, willing to let me take their picture.
First up is everyone’s favorite, the woolly bear caterpillar (Pyrrharctia isabella) crawling beside the parkway. I read in the Pedia of Wik that if the “brown band is wide, winter weather will be mild, and if the brown band is narrow, the winter will be severe,” and the brown band on this guy looks to be nicely not too wide and not too narrow. Yay! Right?
Next is another pretty little ‘summer’ spring azure or just summer azure (Celastrina ladon neglecta) posing on some white sweet clover (Melilotus albus). We first saw an azure back in June, and the white sweet clover started to bloom a couple of weeks after the yellow sweet clover.
Here’s a regular in these reports, a slightly roughed-up pink-edged sulphur (Colias interior), but posing on a new blossom at the south end of the park, the striking Prairie Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculata), glowing in yesterday’s late afternoon sun.
Here’s a pair of new sulphurs, clouded sulphurs (Colias philodice), with a distinct row of dark spots on theirs wings that the pink-edged sulphur lacks, and seen here in the process of making more sulphurs. Good thing the wings offer some privacy so we can keep this operation rated PG, eh?
While we’re at the ironweed, check out the wear and tear on this male monarch. Holy moly does he look like he’s been through the wringer. He’s one tough old “bird”, though, and still flying nevertheless!
On the other hand, here appears to be a spanking new female black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) in the meadow at the north end of the park. She was either too cold or too wet from dew this morning to worry about me clumsily trying to line up this shot.
Finally, our old friend the indigo bunting was also in the meadow this morning and singing his song from amongst the Queen Anne’s lace this time.
That’ll do it for today, and how there are still new critters to see in the park after all this time sure is a mystery to me, but let’s enjoy it while we can.