Chasing Butterflies Today

Butterflies have been kind of scarce in central Iowa lately, mostly because of about a week of cool, rainy weather.  So I was anxious to get out and take some pictures.  I also wanted to go somewhere that might have butterflies I have not seen yet.  So I went to south-western Iowa, to a TNC preserve called Folsom Point, and to a county park called West Oak Woods.  Both preserves have some areas of native prairie, but little is blooming yet in the prairie areas.

I was hoping to find Juniper hairstreaks, and fortunately I did.  But they were frustratingly easy to lose, and very difficult to find.  I think I got a glimpse of one on four different occasions, but was only to take a few bad photos.    This is the best one I got.

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I have spent a lot of frustrating hours searching for this beautiful little butterfly, so my disappointment was tempered by the short glimpses I got of it.

I did find one butterfly I had not seen before, but was not able to get close to it.

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The goatweed leafwing is not normally found in central Iowa, but has occasionally been found in southern Iowa.  I would sure have liked to get closer to this one.

I got a photo I liked of a velvet ant.

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I got a photo of a common roadside skipper (also rare for Iowa).  I did like this photo, but I never quite got as close as I wanted.

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I saw several eastern tiger swallowtails (including a dark form female), many orange sulfurs, a couple of American ladies, many red admirals, about a dozen cabbage whites, one very tattered eastern tailed-blue, a single Horace’s dusky wing, two mourning cloaks, and several of the roadside skippers.  I looked extensively for Henry’s elfin and did not find any.  I had hoped to see Olympia marbles, but I did not find anything that I thought would be good habitat for them.

When I ate at the local subway the server told me I had a tick on me.  I got rid of it–so far I have only found two others.

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About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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One Response to Chasing Butterflies Today

  1. That Juniper hairstreak is a beautiful little creature I’ve never noticed in Virginia. I love the turquoise on its wings. Our butterflies are returning, and our little hummingbirds. I never go out looking for them, but am always so happy to see them visiting the garden. We’re about to lose track of all of the ticks we’ve had on us so far this season. We’ve both already had a course of antibiotics for bites, and are now “suiting up” before going out, and leaving the “outdoor” clothing in the garage. They are extremely prolific here this year! Best wishes, WG

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