Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Butterfly Census Day - Allens Pond Massachusetts Audubon Sanctuary

Saturday, September 10, 2011 I attended the annual Allens Pond Butterfly Census. This event is sponsored by the Massachusetts Audubon Allens Pond Sanctuary and is held on two consecutive weekends. The next will be Saturday, September 17 starting at 10 AM until 1 PM at the field station at 1280 Horseneck Rd., Westport, MA. It is open to butterfly watchers of all ages and from beginner to expert. Besides sanctuary staff there will be members of the Massachusetts Butterfly Clubuntitled MSB_1401 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300S to help identify the butterflies and provide leadership. It is advised that people with long pants, and bring water and a snack.
This event has been held for the past eight or nine years and helps with the monitoring of the different species of butterflies that are present at the sanctuary. It helps with the monitoring of the lifecycles and changes that occur in the environment.
The group was split into teams to cover different areas and habitats of the sanctuary. The group I was with contained a number of children, parents and grandparents. untitled MSB_1396 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300Suntitled MSB_1406 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300Suntitled MSB_1436 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SLeader Lauren not only described and identified the butterflies but also taught the group about other insects, spiders and native plant life that were present on the walk.untitled Bumblebee-MSB_1355 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SBumble BeeYellow Garden Orb Weaver-MSB_1482 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SYellow Garden orb Spider
We saw a number of praying mantis, and the youngest girl,
untitled Praying Mantis -MSB_1449 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300S
who never seen praying mantises before, located some on her
own





untitled Stinging Nettle MSB_1492 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300S





Stinging nettle has a long medicinal history. In medieval Europe, it was used as a diuretic (to rid the body of excess water) and to treat joint pain.
Stinging nettle has fine hairs on the leaves and stems that contain irritating chemicals that are released when the plant comes in contact with the skin.
Besides the usual butterflies we did find an unusual species, the  Fiery Skipper, which is a sub-tropical to tropical species that strays north.untitled Fiery Skipper- MSB_1383 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SFiery Skipperuntitled Fiery SkipperMSB_1407 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300S
Buckeye on Flower_MSB_1298 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SCommon Buckeye
untitled American Copper-MSB_1443 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SAmerican Copper
untitled Buckeye Feeding Flower_MSB_1307 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SCommon Buckeye
untitled Cabbage White-MSB_1324 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SCabbage White
untitled Cabbage white-MSB_1344 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SCabbage White
untitled Gray Hairstreak-MSB_1521 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SGray Hairstreak
untitled Monarch feeding -MSB_1360 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SMonarch
untitled Monarch laying egg-MSB_1531 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SMonarch laying egg
untitled Monarch Egg -MSB_1538 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SMonarch Egg

untitled Orange Sulphur - MSB_1558 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SOrange Sulphur
untitled Clouded Slphur-MSB_1624 September 10, 2011 NIKON D300SClouded Sulphur