Sunday, June 30, 2013

Afternoon Visit to Tower Hill Botanic Garden

Tower Hill was calling.  I hoped the formal gardens might attract some butterflies, but it was mostly cloudy and there really wasn't much butterfly activity to be found at all.  The garden actually seemed a little dull to me, except in a few looked like it needed an injection of color.

American Goldfinch

 Japanese Iris

I don't know what this is, but it's beautiful.  It looks like some kind of agastache.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (missing a huge chunk of his left wing) on Rose Campion

I just love hydrangea, and these two were so pretty!

Since I was striking out in the formal gardens, I headed into the meadows to continue my search for butterflies there.....

Common Whitetail (female)

Chipping Sparrow

Milkweed in bloom
Really quite lovely, don't you think?

immature Calico Penant

Eastern-Tailed Blue (finally!)

Northern Broken Dash

Little Glassywing

Little Glassywing

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail on milkweed

 Eastern Pondhawk (female)

Eastern Pondhawk (immature male)

 Spangled Skimmer

Little Wood Satyr

Summer Azure

Mount Towanda Butterflies

Today I hiked up Mount Towanda, aka Horn Pond Mountain, in Woburn, MA.  It's a very urban setting and popular with joggers, families, dog walkers, kayakers, and fishermen.  It's nice to see so many people out enjoying the great outdoors!

Horn Pond is a great place for flowers, birds, dragonflies, and butterflies.

 Cedar Waxwing #1

Cedar Waxwing #2

Eastern Towhee
singing "drink your tea"

Belted Kingfisher in silhouette

Halloween Penant

Eastern Amberwing

Dogbane (a real butterfly magnet - see below)

Dogbane is a relative of milkweed, but it is much more toxic.  It can have white or pink flowers.  It's very pretty close up!

Help with ID would be appreciated

Wood Lily

It was humid and in the 80s and after climbing up (it's only 287 feet) and squatting down over and over again to photograph butterflies, I almost blacked out.  So I headed down the mountain and restored myself with a couple of cold drinks!  I missed the Mass Butterfly Club hike here yesterday, so I was hoping to see some of the pretty hairstreaks that they saw.....I did have pretty good luck with butterflies!

Black Swallowtail

Edwards Hairstreak

Coral Hairstreak

American Copper

Silver-Spotted Skipper

Eastern-Tailed Blue

Striped Hairstreak

Cabbage White

Eastern-Tailed Blue

Crossline Skipper

Crossline Skipper

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Puddling Butterflies at Chestnut Hill Farm

We were going to go on a whale watch today, but when we heard the ocean was rough from all the recent thunderstorms, we decided to wait until another day......We did go up to Rockport, Mass and walk Bearskin Neck.

Then we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Lobsta Land in Gloucester, Mass.  Yum!  I highly recommend their lobster quesadilla appetizer!  We spotted some Great Egrets in the marsh behind the restaurant, so we ran back there for photos after lunch.

Great Egret

When we got home, it was late in the afternoon, so I decided to take a walk at Chestnut Hill Farm since it's close to home and wouldn't take any time to get to it.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that there were several types of puddling butterflies in the parking lot and along the trail!  

Butterflies get some of their required nutrients from puddling.  Sometimes it looks like they are sitting on gravel or mud. There is some moisture that has absorbed the nutrients from the soil beneath it, and by drinking it, the butterflies derive important minerals.

Clouded Sulphur

Cabbage White

Clouded Sulphur

Eastern-Tailed Blue

Clouded Sulphurs

Eastern-Tailed Blue

Eastern-Tailed Blue 
(the only one not puddling)

Clouded Sulphurs