White-lined Sphinx

Hyles lineataWhite-lined Sphinx, Hyles lineata

I rarely photograph moths at the Prairie Garden Trust because they tend to fly at night. Sometimes I’m lucky and catch one during daylight like this White-lined Sphinx feeding on phlox. It would be easy to mistake this insect for a hummingbird.

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PGT Butterfly Walk – Saturday August 2nd – Please attend!

Papilio glaucus
The purple spike flowers of Prairie Blazing Star are reaching peak bloom. That will help attract butterflies for the Butterfly Walk that will be held next week. The walk is free and open to the public. It starts at 10 AM at the PGT Visitor Center. We usually finish near noon. We are lucky to have Donna Brunet to lead the walk again. Please contact us if you would like to attend. Walking near the PGT visitor center this afternoon I photographed an Eastern Tiger Swallowtail feeding on the Prairie Blazing Star.

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We still have Quail!

Colinus virginianus
On a walk this morning I heard the loud clear whistle of Northern Bobwhite. It is one of my favorite summer sounds.

The new Sibley Guide to Birds describes them as “Uncommon, local and declining.” We are lucky that they persist here and breed at the PGT every year.

I took this picture earlier in the year.

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Halloween Pennant

Celithemis eponinaHalloween Pennant, Celithemis eponina

 

I found this spectacular dragonfly at the edge of the 5-acre Prairie this afternoon. Halloween Pennants have always been my favorite dragonfly. I love the “Halloween” colors.

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Tiger Swallowtail

Battus philenor Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus

With ideal moisture and temperatures the prairie plants are especially lush this year. That means lots of flowers and lots of butterflies. I photographed this Eastern Tiger swallowtail feeding on Wild Bergamot this morning.

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Pipevine Swallowtails Mating

Battus philenor Pipevine Swallowtails, Battus philenor

I wasn’t sure what was waving like a flag on a grass stalk in the prairie this morning. On closer inspection I found these two Butterflies mating. That’s a first for me.

Thanks to Donna Brunet for help with the ID! I was sure this was a Spicebush Swallowtails but she pointed out that Pipevine Swallowtails have a single row of red-orange spots. Spicebush Swallowtails have 2 rows.

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Blue Dasher on a Lily Bud

Pachydiplax longipennisBlue Dasher, Pachydiplax longipennis

 

Pointing the abdomen strait up like this is called obelisking. Dragonflies do that on hot days like today. The raised abdomen reduces the surface area so there is less solar gain. I took this picture this afternoon as the Blue Dasher perched on a water lily bud.

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Eastern Pondhawk

Erythemis simplicicollisEastern Pondhawk, Erythemis simplicicollis

These are ferocious dragonflies, attacking even each other. I found this female in a draw in the middle of the prairie today.

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Clouded Sulphur

Colias philodice.Clouded Sulphur, Colias philodice.

This is one of the most common butterflies at the Prairie Garden Trust and much of America; you can even find them in Alaska. Here it is feeding on one of it’s host plants: red clover. They always seem to pose with their wings closed.

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Giant Swallowtail

Papilio cresphontesGiant Swallowtail, Papilio cresphontes

This butterfly lives up to it’s name; it’s huge! With a wingspread of over 6-inches it’s the largest butterfly in all of North America. I photographed this one yesterday on a Butterfly Weed close to the front door of of the Prairie Garden Trust visitor center.

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