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The Daily Bucket is a place to catch your casual observations of the natural world and turn them into a valuable resource. Whether it's the first flowers of spring or that odd bug in your basement, don't be afraid to toss your thoughts into the bucket. Check here for a more complete description.
September 9-15, 2012
Omaha, Nebraska

Gray Hairstreak

Gray Hairstreak- Strymon melinus

Backyard butterfly weekly list.  Number indicates the number of days sighted.  Names in bold represent new sightings for the year.


Mourning Cloak(2)
Orange Sulphur(1)
Common Buckeye(1)
Gray Hairstreak(1)
Cabbage White(1)
Painted Lady(1)




Ailanthus Webworm Moth(2)

Common BuckeyeLast week was not a great week for butterfly observation.  It was cloudy and cool and we even got some good rain.  Probably more significantly, Summer is ending and the days are getting shorter.  I checked my records from last year and butterfly observations fell off dramatically starting the second week in September.  The season is ending.  

Still, Sunday was a good day.  It was bright and sunny and there were a fair number of butterflies.  Among these, my favorite, the Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia, pictured left).  Buckeyes have always been a late summer visitor to my yard, though I did record at least one in May.  Hopefully, I'll get a chance to see more as the season progresses.

The cooler weather seems to be bringing the Mourning Cloaks(Nymphalis antiopa) out.  I'd had one sighting in May and nothing since then.  Sadly, they seem content to float through the yard, without stopping to feed or rest so I can take pictures.  There are fewer Skippers in the yard.  Peck's seems to be holding on but, for the first time since June, I did not record a single Fiery Skipper(Hylephila phyleus).

So those are my butterfly observations for the week.  What are you seeing in your area?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I have 2 mourning cloaks still hanging out (11+ / 0-)

    attracted to the hummingbird feeders and wasp traps. There are also cabbage whites fluttering about the weeds of the veggy garden.

    I love nature, science and my dogs.

    by Polly Syllabic on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 10:17:16 AM PDT

  •  not much to add for Rochester, NY (6+ / 0-)

    Still have butterflies around, maybe not as many, don't recall seeing any more swallowtails. Temps in 40s overnight should slow it down even more.

    The modern GOP -- Big noise on the stairs, nothing coming down. 

    by PHScott on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 01:12:26 PM PDT

  •  Still have quite a few butterflies around here (5+ / 0-)

    in mid Missouri but the numbers are dwindling a little each week.
    There are a few skippers around yet, not many, and Cloudless Sulphur and Little Yellow numbers remain pretty steady. Buckeyes have been our most numerous for the past two weeks but they seem to be in decline now too. And eastern tailed blues are still plentiful. On a creek walk earlier in the week Mrs. burnt out got a nice pic of an American Snout, which wouldn't wait for me and left before I had even seen it. Here are some of the pics we took that day. The  American Snout is hers.

    Out back of the house I came upon a life and death struggle between  a skipper and a yellow jacket. I took a whole series of pics most of which are blurry as it was a very fast paced fight in which the skipper put up a valiant effort but when I left them the yellow jacket was munching away on the very tattered remains of the skipper. This pic is in the beginning stages of the battle, at the end the skipper looks like he'd been through a tornado, which I guess he had.

    Just give me some truth. John Lennon--- OWS------Too Big To Fail

    by burnt out on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 03:15:39 PM PDT

  •  Right after I made that first post I went out and (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Polly Syllabic, billybush, KenBee

    sat on the back porch and the vanguard flight of migrating Red Shoulders flew over the house. There were around thirty all together, came over in groups of three or four, one larger group of ten. Last year the biggest flights came over in October. I was putting new shingles on the house then and had to stop working and watch them several times whenever I'd see a group of them coming over. Very cool, good thing I wasn't working by the hour though.

    Just give me some truth. John Lennon--- OWS------Too Big To Fail

    by burnt out on Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 05:58:14 PM PDT

  •  In the Atala Garden -- and elswhere. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The usual suspects, Zebra and Julia Heliconians, Gulf Fritillaries.  

    We watched a Gulf Fritillary "mistakenly" lay an egg in our neighbours lawn where it abuts our property.  We clipped the grass, brought it into the house, and set it in a small test tube filled with water. Then I checked the Intertubes and discovered that this is not an unusual act for the Gulf Fritillary.  (Tho' I've never read about it in any of the dozen b'fly books we have.)  The article I read said this b'fly often lays eggs near their host plant, the Corkystem Passionvine -- which was flourishing about two feet away from the blade of grass we cut. About Wednesday last week the egg hatched and so we raised the caterpillar.  Yesterday we deemed it robust enough (third instar) to place it outside in a clump of Corkystem.  Whilst it was growing we brought in fresh Corkystem for it to eat.  We didn't notice until we had clipped it that one piece of the vine had four Zebra eggs on it.  So we raised them inside to the third instar and have just placed them outside in some more Corkystem. In a day or so I'll post some images of all this activity at our online albums: NewImages.   (All one line, no spaces. Somebody please show me how to insert images in these comments.)

    I think we had a Pinkspot Sulphur in the garden at the weekend.  The image is out for confirmation so I won't post it until the b'fly identity is resolved.

    This Sunday (23 Sept.) is our quarterly NABA b'fly count.  I'll count in our Garden and the Gardener will join one of the groups counting at a Nature Preserve.

    Under "Old Business", I should have written last week that the American/Painted Lady I saw was the first ever observed in the Garden. That will make 28 or 29 different species we have observed here.  

    •  Amazing. (0+ / 0-)

      That's quite a collection to consider "the usual suspects".  I also had my first American Lady sighting this year.

      •  The Usual Suspects (0+ / 0-)

        To use a good word suddenly in favour these days, the comment "usual suspects" was inelegantly written ;-)
        It is my shorthand for the squadron of Zebras, Julias and Gulf Fritillarys that greet me every morning when I open the front door.  These three have colonized  the garden. Also on the "regulars" list are Monk Skippers, Monarchs, and Giant Swallowtails.  Those three usually show up an hour or so later than the first three. Somewhere there is a paper noting minimum air temperatures for various butterfly species to begin flying.

         There are many other species that we see regularly, if not daily, in one's and two's -- such as Palamedes Swallowtails, three or four varieties of Sulphurs, and the occasional Hammock and Longtail Skippers.

        While the observation of an occasional exotic causes a lot of excitement, seeing the regulars is comforting.  They are still fascinating and I'm still taking pictures of all of them.

        Part of the diversity must be driven by what is available for nectaring and hosting in the garden and nearby.

    •  To post pics you need to first put them on one of (0+ / 0-)

      the Kos approved picture hosting sites.  Here is the list of those sites.
      The approved hosts are:

      I use photobucket, it's free, and easy to use, others might be better, I haven't checked them out.  Once you have that done you can post them in diaries or comments simply by copying the  html code that the host site gives it and pasting this code into your comment. If you have any trouble with any of that, shoot me a message and I'll walk you through it.

      There is also a relatively new image library right on Daily Kos itself where pics can be uploaded and posted in comments. I haven't tried it yet since Photobucket works so well for me. Also I'm not sure but I believe this new image service is only available to paid subscribers, not sure about that though.

      Just give me some truth. John Lennon--- OWS------Too Big To Fail

      by burnt out on Thu Sep 20, 2012 at 06:29:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Posting pictures (0+ / 0-)

        Thanks so much for your tutorial for posting images.  I'll give it a try at the weekend.  I'll also print it out and save it with my other "how to" docs. In the meantime I've posted a few new images at the Picasa website

        in the New Images album.

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