Butterflies of the Interstate

In Iowa we have had some long-term efforts to manage roadsides with native prairie plants.  The Tallgrass Prairie Center at the University of Northern Iowa has been a leader in the effort.

So if you go to the Huxley-Slater interchange off of Interstate 35, this is what you might see:

The most conspicuous plants are spiderwort, which have a brilliant blue flower in the morning.  The petals dissolve and fall off by the evening.

Get a little closer and you might see black-eyed Susan and fleabane.

On a day that was a little too cloudy and wet for butterflies there were still monarchs feeding on the butterfly milkweed.

But the real prize was this gorgone checkerspot.

The underside of the wings are colorful and have a striking pattern.  Unfortunately, this butterfly did not cooperate, so I will have to settle for a closeup.



About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
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