The diversity of Shawnee and the Edge of Appalachia is amazing. Lists will soon be posted on the Flora-Quest website, but an early compilation shows the following results: we checked off 432 species of plants- 15 of those were not even on our list! And birds, Shawnee in the spring is amazing and with some of Ohio's best birders in house, amassing 107 species was not a surprise. We didn't even get a Blue Heron on that list!
Butterflies, you have to love them. Shawnee/Edge of Appalachia's Flora-quest checklist = 19 species. Unfortunately, we did not locate a Falcate Orange-tip, one species I was especially keen to photograph. Only seen in those southern counties, I have no hope of finding one here in Richland County. So, I must wait until next spring for another chance to get that neon-tipped beauty.
We did luck onto another possible rarity, the Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail. Unrecorded (officially) in Ohio, Jim McCormac thought they could be a possibility in Shawnee. John Howard came to Flora-quest with an informative print-off showing the detailed differences between our Eastern Tiger- and the previously unknown Appalachian Tiger.While cruising around on a pre-scout with John Howard, I was lucky enough to focus my lens on a very good replica of an Appalachian Tiger. The differences may not seem too drastic, but careful inspection reveals wider gaps between the stripes. That is one major difference, but there are several other indicators. I am not saying it is or isn't an Appalachian Tiger- but it was unusual (larger, different flight) enough to catch my eye. I will leave it to the experts to decide. Either way, it was a great day at Shawnee. :)