CIHA Fen (or is it Chia?)

The Iowa Native Plant Society had a wildflower walk at CIHA fen in Johnson County today.  The first thing we had to figure out was how to pronounce the name.  I am not sure we got the definitive answer, but the consensus seemed to be that it was pronounced in the same way the little terracotta animals that were sold on TV (chia pets) were pronounced.

This is a very unique area.  As usual, my focus was mostly on butterflies, including this first of the year for me Peck’s skipper.

Meadow fritillaries were very common, including five on a some scat that was on the trail.  I took photos, but instead I will show a single individual on a flower.

There were some damselflies and dragonflies as well, including this azure bluet.

Have you ever eaten wild strawberries?  They are a special treat.  They are sweeter than the domestic ones, and have a little bit of tartness (although they are still less tart that most other fruits).  I have run across them in other locations, and have been lucky enough to eat some.  But the wild strawberries were thick here, and probably at their peak ripeness.

Great spangle fritillaries were also common here, and fresh enough to have very bright colors.

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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