I was able to spend a few hours out in nature this weekend and pretty much enjoyed myself.
First I went to Marietta Sand Prairie in Marshall County, looking for butterflies. I saw a few. Nothing rare–meadow fritillaries, viceroy, orange sulfurs, summer azures. My efforts to photograph them were stymied by deer flies, however.
Deer flies bite, but they are pretty slow about it. Mostly they fly around my head and cause me to hit myself until I get a headache. I did not get bit, but I did get chased out of a part of the prairie where I wanted to search. While I hate the little pests they do have the most magnificent eyes.
I also was visited by a horse fly, here on my shoe. Somehow I avoided getting bit by it as well.
In the sand blowout area I found this robberfly with a small bee as prey.
Today near the Des Moines River I found several small clumps of dogbane blooming. From past experience I know this flower to be great at attracting all kinds of flower loving insects. I was not disappointed.
There were a number of silver-spotted skippers visiting the flowers. I liked this head-on view.
I spent a lot of time with this particular viceroy. I got clear views of it but was a little hampered by the wind blowing the flower.