I have been lucky enough to get out and chase butterflies and other critters this weekend. Yesterday I went to Big Creek State Park in Polk County, Iowa and today I went to Medora Prairie in Warren County, Iowa.
This summer azure was in the sand near the lake at Big Creek.
Chasing butterflies often involves crawling on my elbows and belly on the mud and the sand. I took a photo of one of the road hazards, probably left by a goose. My better judgement has taken over, so I will spare you the photo.
While walking in the weeds near the lake, I almost stepped on a turtle which seemed to be depositing her eggs.
Northern painted turtle, I think. There was too much grass for me to get a good shot without disturbing her more, so I left.
Nearby were a number of holes. This seems to be an old nest, and the white things seem to be the remains of egg shells. My guess is that a small mammal found and preyed on the nest contents. But I am no expert.
I took a path in the woods and found this fly. I think it is Chrysopilus ornatus, the ornate snipe fly.
Today was great for butterflies at Medora Prairie.
There were several great spangled frittilaries around, flying along the roadway and feeding on the dogwoods.
Little wood satyrs fly low along the weeds near the access road. When they land they move in rapid little jerks if they are in the open. Otherwise they land deep in the midst of weeds where they are difficult to photograph.
This gray comma flew out and landed on my legs a couple of times. It proved to be somewhat difficult to photograph, even though it was not shy at all.
I saw a nice dragonfly, which I have not identified yet.
This Delaware skipper is in the jet fighter basking pose that is typical of grass skippers.
The butterflies sort of refreshed my soul today.