Hanging Out by the Swamp Milkweed

Big Creek State Park is an artificial lake in Polk County Iowa.  On the north side of the lake is a little used boat access–mostly used by people with canoes and kayaks.  The boat ramp is gravel mixed with mud, and the gravel stays sort of damp.  That makes it a great area for butterflies to visit and do mud-puddling activity.  In addition, there are a couple of small patches of swamp milkweed, which also attract butterflies and other pollinators.

Swamp milkweed is a beautiful flower, and it is hard to take a bad picture of an insect on it.  This is the common cabbage white.

In my experience, while swamp milkweed is attractive to butterflies, it is also attractive to some nice large wasps like this sand wasp, Bembix americana.

This common buckeye was more attracted to the damp gravel.

So was this Eastern tiger swallowtail.

But the milkweed brought in this dun skipper.

The only downside is the slight odor of the mud, which is now my perfume.  A little touch of algae, and maybe a little touch of carrion as well.

About the roused bear

Nature photographer from central Iowa.
This entry was posted in butterflies, common buckeye, Junonia coenia, photography and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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