September 5 – Fall Stirrings

I took a bike ride with a couple of my students at Wakonda State Park.  It was a sunny, cool day. 

Osprey

Caspian tern

Both of these are rare birds, just migrating through our area.

Jessica and Luke

Viceroy – dorsal

Viceroy – ventral

This specimen was interesting, given the great number of monarchs that were out. 

Black swallowtail

Common buckeye

Cloudless sulphur

I was really surprised to see so many butterflies, and in such good condition, this late in the season.

Crab spider eats spicebush swallowtail.

Later that day I was in the back yard looking for monarchs when I spotted a dark butterfly in the garden phlox.  It was in the grip of a big crab spider, already dead.    It’s sad, but a classic “circle of life” moment.

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