Wednesday, April 16, 2008


We had the day off today, so naturally we came to the Audubon Center at Francis Beidler Forest to practice with the new camera. We erred by entering the building to check the computer for an email. We lost an hour by being seen and tasked with work. We made quick work of the assignment and headed out to the powerline in search of butterflies.

It is our intention to plant butterfly-attracting, native plants within the powerline right-of-way, which is easily accessible from our parking area. Students with binoculars and field guides will be able to spot and identify butterflies as they wait their turn to begin the boardwalk tour. The plantings will definitely enhance the site, but there were plenty of butterfly species already fluttering within the treeless tract, especially on and around the Red Buckeye Red Buckeye (Aesculus pavia). A Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) even stopped by for a drink and posed beautifully next to a blossom with the bright green of the right-of-way serving as a backdrop. Of course, the bird zipped away just as we pushed the shutter release!

Here are the butterflies we saw today:

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Little Wood Satyr (Megisto cymela)

as yet unidentified

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

skipper, possibly a Dun Skipper (Euphyes vestris)

Images by Mark Musselman

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