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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.