June 15, 2011 – Prairies in bloom

I have noticed a proliferation of swallowtail butterflies this year.  That’s good news, but I haven’t been able to get any in front of the camera until recently.  This one was in the back yard. 

Melanic form, female tiger swallowtail

This one was in my prairie in the back yard.  While somewhat overrun with goldenrod, many of my original plantings are thriving.

From Spring 2011

My neighbor has a purple martin house, and gets them nesting there every year.  I stopped by to photograph them, but it turns out to be difficult.  The dark purplish color just sucks up light.  It looks like a blackbird.

From Spring 2011

There are a lot of common whitetails out right now.  This one was in the flooded fields along the Mississippi River. 

The periodical cicadas are still out and calling, though I suspect they’re beginning to decline.  I went to the home of one of my students.  She has a full chorus of them, and plenty of low-lying ones to see.

From Spring 2011

Female’s ovipositor.

From Spring 2011

Male on hydrangea.

From Spring 2011

Portrait of a periodical cicada.

Her neighbor has horses.  They came over to the fence to be friendly.

From Spring 2011

I’d never noticed a horse with mosaic eye before–note that one is blue and the other brown.

From Spring 2011

I believe this is the Banded Hairstreak.  If so, it’s a new species to me.

While I was at the office, I looked looked in on the North Campus prairie.  It looks really good right now.  There are hardly any weeds, and the planted species are coming on strong.  Many are in bloom already.

From Spring 2011

Unidentified fly on milkweed.

From Spring 2011

Purple poppy mallow patch.

From Spring 2011

An individual purple poppy mallow bloom.


Evening primrose.

From Spring 2011

White beardtongue.

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