20170722 Hwy 529 More butterflies and Clearwing Moths on Milkweeds

Above Photo: Pickerel Weed blooming on Big Lake

We saw some action at the milkweed patches on Hwy 529 on Saturday.

The big question is:  Are these Hemaris thysbe or  are they Hemaris diffinis?  Or a combination of both?

First set on Common Milkweed:  These look like diffinis to me… black line on thorax and black legs.




Second set on Joe Pye Weed:  This one seems to have paler legs, maybe a thysbe?





Third one, on Common Milkweed.  If you enlarge this one you’ll see very strange “growths” on the face of this ( diffinis?) Clearwing:


Back to the butterflies ….

American Lady on Milkweed…

Great Spangled Fritillary on Milkweed…

Coral Hairstreak on Goldenrod….

Unidentified Wasp(?) on Milkweed…

Unidentified (Wasp)…

Meadowsweet  is starting to bloom profusely  along the streams and ditches.  This wild spirea is also a good nectar source for pollinators.


It seems that folks with full screen computers or Ipads prefer large photos.   Folks who check out this blog with phones seem to prefer smaller ones, as above, as they are used to expanding them with the finger maneuver.    I think that I’ll go back to the larger images to make the viewing experience better.   I have also learned that captioning in WordPress can be problematical with complex workarounds.   No more captioning.


20170610 Painted and Snapping turtle, Chalk Fronted Dragonfly, Highbush cranberry, Clearwing Moth, Potentilla, Wild Iris, Wild Calla lily, Common Grackle, Wooly Aphid, Ring-billed gulls airshow

Painted and Snapping turtle, Chalk Fronted Dragonfly, Highbush cranberry, Clearwing Moth, Potentilla, Wild Iris, Wild Calla lily, Common Grackle, Wooly Aphid, Ring-billed gulls airshow

We went up to Burwash to check out the bugs and blossoms on a nice spring day.

Painted and big Snapping Turtle eying photographer from afar …

Two male Chalk Fronted Corporals were buzzing along the roadside along Neilly Road.

The signal or attractor blossoms were blooming on this Viburnum trilobum.

First sighting of the season!   Clearwing Hummingbird Moth!   I think that this is a H. thysbe instead of a H. gracilis.

The presence of the appropriate caterpillar hosts and sources of nectar at Burwash makes it a good spot to see these beauties.   We also have clearwings in Britt who usually visit the milkweeds later this month to stock up on nectar.

Potentilla (cinquefoil) is starting to bloom profusely. These might be remnants or hybrids of cultivars growing in the former community.

Iris versacolor showing the three sets of petals of the Fleur-de-lis.

Wild Calla Lily emerging from the muck of the ditch along the road to Burwash…

And along the east that road this Common Grackle found an abandoned woodpecker nest to rear its young.  It took only a minute or two between feedings of the fledglings.

After arriving home I checked out the Tag Alders where I had photographed the Harvester butterfly at 20170607.  Sure enough, here are the Woolly aphids that the larvae feed on, making the Harvester butterfly the only carnivorous butterfly species.  Sharp-eyed naturalists will see the ant which might be “farming” the aphids.

While driving across the fields of Burwash I encountered a flock of Ring-billed Gulls who put on an Airshow for us.  Their ancestors probably put on Airshows for the folks at the landfills at the prison farm half a century ago.

Head-on Pass:

Precision landing next to squadron mate.

Landing sequence ….


Airbraking …

Folding wings.   (Are these Navy types?)

Flyby, demonstrating wing-flapping …

Low level pass with gear up …

Mary Holland has some nice photos of maturing Tamarack cones at Naturally Curious.