Bugs, Not Birds

We recently returned from a three-week trip to the east coast, from Florida to New York, in search of butterflies (and to a lesser extent, odonates).

Much of our time in Florida was spent helping our son get ready for his move to a new job at Duke University. That, and the fact that it rained almost the whole time we were there, meant that we did not see very many bugs. Those we did see were familiar critters that we see at home in Texas.

The trip to, and stay in, North Carolina were also wet. So, we really did not start looking for new bugs until we arrived in New Jersey to visit Michael’s father and step-mom. Throughout our stay in New Jersey, and for much of our time in New York, we were disappointed in the numbers of butterflies. There were very few most places we went. One notable exception was “Brigantine” NWR where we saw more saltmarsh skippers, a lifer, than we could possibly count.

Despite the low numbers, New York produced some more new butterflies for our infant life lists. Our favorites included the Baltimore crescent (no photo) and the common wood-nymph.

The return trip was much better. After we weathered some tremendous storms on the road in Ohio, the weather turned mostly sunny for the remainder of the trip. We saw quite a few Summer Azures (no photo), and the farther south we went bug diversity increased. We traveled for 450 miles along the Natchez Trace through TN, AL, and MS and saw most of our best bugs there. Another good stop was Catahoula NWR. Here is a small sampling of some bugs we saw:

 red-spotted purple

 common buckeye Creole pearly eye eastern tailed blue Carolina satyr viceroy question mark sleepy orange

We also saw quite a few odonates along the way, but we are such novices with that group that we are only including one picture of our favorite, the Halloween pennant.

Check back next month for more of our natural adventures.