Saturday, August 14, 2010

Eurema lisa at Crosswinds Marsh

Last Sunday, 08-08-2010, I met Roger Kuhlman and Ron Gamble at a parking area in the phase II section of Crosswinds Marsh to hike out and look for Little Yellow (Eurema lisa) butterflies.  We were also looking for Common Ringlets.  Roger seemed confident that we would see Little Yellows, a new butterfly for me, but less confident that we would see a ringlet.  This was my first time in the phase II section of Crosswinds Marsh.  The main Crosswinds area is a Wayne County park that I have visited many times.  I am ashamed to say that I have not been to Crosswinds this year since early spring.


As can be seen from the photos, it was a bright, sunny, hot day with a warm, but welcome, breeze.  The above photo is the partridge pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) - host plant for the Little Yellow - habitat.  It is a beautiful location.

Little Yellow butterflies are very active, especially the males flying around to look for mating opportunities.  The butterfly is a bright yellow-white color and some females have a variant white color.  This color, along with their highly active nature and the bright sun of the day, conspired against me for good photos.  Above and below are the best I could achieve.  For the best look, double-click on each image to enlarge.  

I had to leave around noon and Roger and Ron continued on and ended up finding a record number of Little Yellow butterflies for this location. Later, too, they also found an Inornate Ringlet - the other butterfly I had wanted to see.  In the time I was there, the diversity of sightings was not high, with Least Skippers and Cabbage White being perhaps the most common.  Other butterflies, and one dragonfly and one bird, that I was able to photograph include the following.

Horace's Duskywing

Field Sparrow

Halloween Pennant

No where near the water of Crosswinds Marsh, this Halloween Pennant (Celithemis eponina) was the only one I saw flying around a very dry, grassy field.  It perched on the tops of the spindly grass and was buffeted by the breeze.  The was the best photo I could get.

Peck's Skipper

Common Buckeye

I have no idea which butterfly is my favorite.  I asked Roger what his favorite butterfly was and he had to pause, too, before offering a response.  Having said this, whenever I am looking at a fresh Common Buckeye, I think it is my favorite butterfly.

Monarch caterpillar on common milkweed

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