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Missouri, Day 4

(Featured image is of a Juniper Hairstreak photographed by Dr. Glassberg in Benton County, Missouri on April 25th – ed.)

I again awoke with clouds in my eyes.  But the weather report for today was for part sun after 2 pm – so there was some hope.

As was so much of this trip, the morning was spent waiting.  With so much time where weather made field work pointless, I’ve listened to a lot of music on the car radio.  At the top of the list was a recording of Leon Fleisher performing Brahm’s transcription for piano of Bach’s Chaconne from his partita No. 2 for violin.  I had never before heard this recording and it was enthralling.  It was actually worth the cost and effort of the entire trip. No kidding.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Although the weather prediction was for some sun after 2 pm, the sun actually appeared around noon and the butterflies then appeared as well, especially hairstreaks. In the sunshine of the rest of the afternoon, I saw 11 Gray Hairstreaks, 26 Juniper Hairstreaks, 1 Henry’s Elfin and 1 Red-banded Hairstreak.  In what was a pretty good day for butterflies, in all, I saw 21 species today. 

Juniper Hairstreak on Rose Mock-Vervain

Unfortunately, Ozark Swallowtail was not one of them.  Either Ozark Swallowtails are now rare, are in a temporary down cycle, or have a weather altered flight time this year. 

I still have tomorrow – but it doesn’t look good.

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Missouri – Day 3: April 24

(Featured image above is a Three-toed Box Turtle Jeff photographed in Shawnee Bend Park, Missouri -ed.)

Woke up this morning to discover that the weather gods were even angrier. Thick gray clouds and drizzle. So, not much happened.

I did get to drive through Tightwad, Missouri for the umpteenth time. Unfortunately, I used most of my allocation of Tightwad jokes in the article in the winter 2018 issue of American Butterflies, so I’m not giving up any of the rest of the jokes until I die.

Toward mid day, the sky brightened slightly – still no sun – so I traveled to Shawnee Bend State Park where a three-toed box turtle was sauntering across the road. I briefly debated the ethics of shipping it to Asia to defray the costs of the trips, but then decided to move it to the side of the road. Once at the park, I took a walk down the Shawnee Bend Bluff Trail.

I saw exactly three individual butterflies, an Eastern Tailed-Blue, a Red Admiral and a Gemmed Satyr. Here are photos of each them demonstrating, once again, that one can obtain photos of the majority of individual butterflies one sees if one works at it.

Eastern Tailed-Blue
Red Admiral
Gemmed Satyr
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Missouri, Day 2, April 23rd

(Dr. Jeffrey Glassberg’s adventures continue in Missouri! The featured image above is a Red-banded Hairstreak, in Benton County, MO -ed.)

Apparently, Missouri holds groundhog’s day on April 22, because when I awoke today, it was exactly as it was yesterday.  Gray sky and glum face. 

So, I used the morning to deal with various NABA issues.  By the time that I write this up for American Butterflies, I may be able to say what they were.

Around 11:30, I drove to Truman SP.  Around noon, the sun was actually visible for about 5 minutes but then went back to sleep.  I was jealous.  

Common Roadside-Skipper

I walked around for the next 1 ½ hours and did see a few species that I hadn’t seen yesterday – but no Ozark Swallowtails.  Because I’m a slow learner, there were some exciting moments that involved Pipevine Swallowtails.  Also, the Red-banded Hairstreaks and Common Roadside-Skippers had just emerged, and so were particularly beautiful.  Butterflies seen were: Pipevine Swallowtail 4, Gray Hairstreak 1, Red-banded Hairstreak 2, Eastern Tailed-Blue 15, Pearl Crescent 1, Red Admiral 1, Northern Cloudywing 1, Juvenal’s Duskywing 15, Horace’s Duskywing 1, Wild Indigo Duskywing 1, Common Roadside-Skipper 2.

Northern Cloudywing

After a dinner of enchiladas suizas, I watched the Brooklyn Nets get eliminated from the playoffs (the Wild Indigo Duskywings have NEVER made the playoffs).  It was a particularly ugly game to unfortunately end what was a great and fun Nets basketball year. 

I wait on the weather gods.

Wild Indigo Duskywing female