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Today seemed to flutter by with butterflies

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Intern Rachel and I met up early this morning, and were on the road by 7:00 to survey the Wauboose Lake block for breeding birds.  She had a friend visiting her this holiday weekend that was supposed to go with us, but apparently they had a slight disagreement last night and the so called friend packed up and left at six this morning.  Okay, well that gave us a little more room in the truck for our stuff.  One of the trials and tribulations of being young, I guess.  I think if we’re lucky, as we age, we out grow the need for such drama over minor diffugalties. 

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It was a very foggy morning, and presented some challenges along the Egg Lake trail.  It’s hard to see birds in such fog.

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The fog was beginning to lift a bit as we got to Big Egg lake, but these white pelicans out by one of the islands were all hunkered down.  Heavy fog doesn’t make for very good soaring conditions.  We picked up five new species on our journey today, and several confirmations.

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This road was flooded not so long ago by beavers.  If beavers hear trickling water, they tend to dam it up.  Two new culverts with grates were installed two weeks ago so the road wouldn’t flood anymore, but as you can see on the left, these industrious beavers filled the culvert with logs and mud behind the grate.  The water is rising and barely a trickle is going through the berm.  We’ll report this to staff tomorrow, before it becomes a massive problem again.  Around here, I’m thinking busy as a beaver is a more apt saying than busy as a bee.

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I think we saw more butterflies today than birds.  They seemed to be congregating everywhere.  This batch of white admirals and one northern pearly-eye were getting some needed nutrients out of the soil around the levy.

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A little way down the road, an Eastern comma stopped by.  I’m sure glad I was provided with a stack of field guides here so I could figure out the different species we saw today.

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As we neared the gate out of the Egg Lake trail there were hundreds of Northern Pearly-eyes covering the path.  They were just swirling around the truck on our approach and a few landed on Rachel as she got out to open the gate.  I’ve never seen so many butterflies in such masses.

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As we got to the next gate, the pearly-eyes were covering the foliage.  It reminded me of the mass dragonfly hatch that happened about two weeks ago.  They were just everywhere!

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                               In lesser numbers were Atlantis fritillaries feeding on wolf scat, and…

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                                              Silvery checkerspots enjoying the wildflowers.  

The birding activity may be dwindling as summer progresses and raising the next generation is accomplished, but that sure doesn’t mean that other flora and fauna are done reaching their peaks.  Such an ebb and flow with nature.  I didn’t have one tick on me today, but the deer flies are sure making their presence known!  Such is life…

Thanks for stopping by… talk to you later,  Judy

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