This afternoon, I had to make a stop at the research plot at Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio to check out a group of plants I help monitor. It was a perfect day for a short walk and for a change I didn't have to hurry along. There was a very vocal immature red-tailed hawk making sorties out over the field from the tree line -- practice flights no doubt. The field is mowed once a month and the large red clover was in full bloom -- such a pretty sight.
As I walked through it, yellow swallowtail butterflies leaped up out of the flowers and as I looked around, there were four of this large beauties enjoying the sunshine and nectar.
There were lots of Bumble Bees -- my little guide tells me that Bumbles have hairy abdomens and Carpenter Bees have shiny, black, hairless abdomens.
I saw at least four other butterfly species -- summer azure, silver-spotted skipper, a fritillary and this clouded sulphur.
Since I had some extra time, I walked down towards the stream through a piece of woods (found a chickadee family and a male scarlet tanager on the way) and up into another large meadow which has not been mowed yet this summer. There wasn't much in bloom and I was turning to go back when I spotted a small orange butterfly of the Crescent family. It was low in the grass enjoying a daisy and I'd had such good luck taking photos with my new phone that I decided to try and get one of this sweet little thing. But it wouldn't sit still -- grrrr!
And then I looked down and there were three of them sitting on my foot!!!
I started clicking away, hoping for open wings and sure enough one obliged!
And then another arrived and they all laid their wings open to enjoy the sunshine and settled into harvesting salts from my skin, I assume.
I was so excited!! I'm calling them Northern Crescents. Their larval food is Asters. They seemed very content, so I leaned down for a closer look and . . . . . .
The experience was delightful and it reminds me what fascinating treasures are waiting to be discovered when I slow down and take the time to look around!