Funny that. You are encouraged, for months, by new friends in Ohio . . . that there will surely be butterflies in those Ohio prairies that are new for you, lifers as some call them. The arrangements are made, cabins reserved, days calendared, and that June 2017 day arrives.
The drive to Dayton, Ohio and not a single wrong turn, not that fancy computerized stuff, but printed directions from Google Directions. Cedar bog and more, Showy orchids don’t disappoint, and then the drive down to south-central Ohio, Adams County. Angela has been touting Adams as a nature bazaar, and I’m the whole time trying not to be too excited. How can Adams County, Ohio be as good as she suggests it will be.
Easy! With beautiful June days, Adams County totally delivered. Lynx Prairie and Kamama Prairie, both wildlife reserves, were stunning! Just stunning!
It’s a Hit! when you see a butterfly all new to you, and then you see more and more of them, as here, Jeff buzzed! with Butterflyweed ( an Asclepias milkweed ) covered with a fresh flight of Edwards Hairstreaks. Sweet colors that douse your eyes with beauty! These hairstreaks worked the flowerhead methodically, and courteously allowed my approach, and presence. Angela delivers, for sure.
Angela kept touting the bounty of Adams County, in southern Ohio. Friends of mine were already planning to make that trip, in late June. Nancy and John would be coming from the Georgia coast. Barbara Ann from Frewsburg, New York. How could I resist Angela’s offer of prairies, butterflies, orchids, fens, meadows?
I drove to Dayton, Ohio from Pittsburgh, and rendezvoused with most of the group. Cedar Bog did not disappoint. Showy Orchids, the first I’d ever seen. Big, big and exquisite they were. Just gorgeous.
We then drove down, Petra too, to Adams County and a cabin at Shawnee State Park. Others, Flower, Joe , Jane and Dave arrived, and we were a group heavy with field experience, especially schooled in butterflies, orchids, native wildflowers, moths and more.
Lynx Prairie took my breath away. Native prairie, with wildflowers in full regalia, coneflowers and butterflyweed in abundance. And on those butterflyweed flowerheads, Edwards Hairstreaks! Lots of Edwards. A sizable flight of them. I can’t remember ever having met this hairstreak before.
Look at this sweetie. You like?
Met this sweetheart of a Coral Hairstreak butterfly several years ago in Raccoon Creek State Park. Just 3 paces away was its favorite sugary nectar source, Butterflyweed, a milkweed. I cannot recall ever seeing Corals two years in a row. They seem to skip certain years, especially those that suffer a lack of butterflyweed. How they skip years, well that’s a fine doctoral pursuit for that bright young cousin of yours.
Today I dropped off 152 slides with Katie at Rewind Memories ( Pittsburgh ). They were shot in Israel, Georgia, Ohio and very western New York State. I cannot wait to share them with you, in the coming weeks, for they include some very nice butterflies and wildflowers, including orchids.
Among those 152 are images of . . . Corals seen in Kamama Prairie in Adams County, Ohio. Just a short drive to the Kentucky border, this county was everything Angela Carter said it would be.
The butterflyweed was peak, lush and gorgeous that day, about 2-3 weeks ago. Great Spangled Fritillaries were flying to and fro around the butterflyweed flowerheads. I waded into the prairie, hoping to find the elusive Coral hairstreak. Did I? You bet I did. A couple of them were patiently working the butterflyweed flowers. They seriously cooperate when you find them, for they allow a very close approach, and they move ever so slowly from bloom to bloom.
I have a fondness for Corals, their coral spots evoke those spectacular coral stones used in the making of the finest jewelry, the kind that Chinese buyers bid for premiums at Sotheby’s and Christie’s in New York and London.
A good year this, for Jeff found his corals. What do you think Patti would design with such coral gems, over there in Golden?
You’ve got to keep your eyes peeled for them. I now know where to find them in the Butterflies & Blooms in the Briar Patch Habitat. I know when to look for them there, where, and I know that you have to look for them, because at 1″ across, wing to wing, they are ‘t’ as in tiny. A Red-banded hairstreak.
They fly roughly from Pennsylvania down to Florida, and have several broods (generations), raising the likelihood that you’ll see one . . . again, if you look. I am always looking, especially here in central Georgia. Why? Well, the southern Red-bandeds have broader, more prominent red-orange bands across their hindwings. I’m a sucker for those red-bands, truth be told.
This gent was camera ready. That band, bordered in white, those 2 pairs of tiny tails, that light blue patch, adequate eyespots, neat spotted legs and antennae and . . . those perky eyes and palps. The whole package.
You can’t help but perk up! when your eyes set on a fresh Red-banded hairstreak like this guy. A Red-banded delight!