Trails, Meadows, Forests, Fens, Roadsides, Marshes, Bogs, and Swamps. I cannot count the number of times that we work our way through diverse habitat, and there! is something new to me. Never seen before.
Me? My encyclopedic knowledge of fauna and flora is NOT encyclopedic. I have come to peace with myself, I no longer ‘Beat myself up’ for not knowing a myriad of wildlife and plants. With trees, shrubs, annuals , perennials, orchids I now am more than Happy to stop, admire, and reflect on H-s work. The overwhelming variety impresses me. That I am impressed with what I see in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Georgia, Arizona, Florida, Israel, Canada and in a few days, Texas. This all pales, when I consider that in Mexico, Alaska, Sri Lanka, Sicily, France, Bolivia, Brazil, Poland, Australia, Iran and beyond, 99.98% of species will remain unseen by these eyes.
This mushroom stopped me at Lynx Prairie Reserve in Adams County, Ohio. There, Dave and Angela and Barbara Ann approached that ‘encyclopedic’ level of species recognition. I remained silent, happily impressed.
You just don’t see many skippers in the HolyLand. Coming from the United States, I think 10 times since 2008, my personal conclusion is that skipper butterflies are not found in great numbers in Israel. Why that may be so, I do not know.
Thinking that Israel’s intense summer heat deters skippers, does not work for me. I have visited the mountains west of Phoenix, Arizona several times, and I’ve seen skippers active in arroyos, when the morning temperatures flirted with 100F temperatures.
This little beaut was seen in the Crocodile River Nature Reserve, near the Mediterranean coast. We met on a trail in the Reserve, and I worked hard, trying to score a good image. This one does not resemble any of the North American skippers that I know. My Israeli field guides are not of much help.
As happens here, this one shall go unnamed, not ID’d.
Butterflies and Botany brought us to Prairie Road Fen, Clark County, Ohio. Once parked, we followed the demure trail, and soon entered onto the boardwalk. It followed the contour of the small creek. Rich, diverse plant life bordered our boardwalk path. Angela, Janet and I saw diverse plants, orchids and butterflies all along the way. This Reserve is of great interest to the state of Ohio, and you could see many examples of the attention that was given to the conservation of this prized wetland.
The butterflies and moths were aplenty. Orchids and moths seemed to be swept to ‘the wayside’ when Angela and Janet spotted those traps. Set about by Ohio researchers, many of the traps contained adult Spotted Turtles. My trail companions must love spotted turtles, for they could not get enough looks at them. The turtles, seemingly comfortable and at peace in their temporary shelters, cooperated, looking cute, important and very dependent on the good efforts of Ohio. Angela here examines one of the spotted turtles. That week in western and southern Ohio convinced me that Ohio is exemplary in its efforts to protect wildlife, flora and fauna.
I travel to Ohio to see butterflies, familiar and lifers ( Northern Metalmark, Edwards Hairstreak) and see, I also enjoy revisiting spotted turtles, for the second time in my rich life. Bonanza? Bonus?