Saturday, September 21, 2013

MBC Trip to Appleton Farms

Today was the last MBC butterfly field trip of the 2013 season.  Oh, what a sad milestone!  Another season is drawing to a close.

Appleton Farms, the destination, is part of the lands maintained by the Trustees of the Reservations and is located in Ipswich, Massachusetts.  Today the farm was celebrating its 375th anniversary.  It is the oldest continuously operating farm in America and among the most influential in America's agricultural history.

Our walk focused on a very small portion of the grounds where we hoped to see Silver-Bordered Fritillaries and Bronze Coppers.  We succeeded in seeing both almost immediately, but then things quieted down significantly and we struggled to build a decent species list.  We did see lots of spiders!

 Pearl Crescent

Silver-Bordered Fritillary

Bronze Copper

Garden Spider, eating a Katydid (perhaps)

mystery spider

Garden Spider

Virginia Ctenucha Moth

Clover Looper Moth

Garden Spider

Common Ringlet, enjoying its final moments

Common Ringlet, just became lunch for Garden Spider

Pearl Crescent

Bronze Copper

Love this closeup - check out those "eye lashes" or are they horns?

Least Skipper

After the walk, Donna and I took a short tour of the farm house and checked out the dairy store after our picnic lunch.  We then headed up to Gloucester to Mass Audubon's Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary.  Last year in mid-September, I visited this sanctuary with my sister and we witnessed hundreds of monarchs staging to migrate south.  It was a beautiful sight.  This year, the same Seaside Goldenrod was devoid of monarchs.  The attendant at the entrance said he had not yet seen a single monarch in 2013.

Boston Skyline from Eastern Point

Eastern Point Lighthouse

Great Black-Backed Gull

Herring Gull (first winter)

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