Bobolinks and Butterflies at Byers Woods (check out our photos!) was a great deal of fun yesterday. The day started off with the traditional Beginner's Bird Walk at Byers Woods, and there were eventually 3 groups of people on bird walks taking in that bodacious bobolink habitat and the "bobs" flying there.
Black Swamp Bird Organization and Stucker Meadow Native Plants had displays and merchandise for the shopping savvy. Please don't tell my husband how much I spent! I now own enough Turtlehead, Chelone glabra to feed an army of Baltimore Checkerspots.
The Ashland County Park District had hot dogs and chips for sale- while a Ashland Chautauqua actor portrayed Henry David Thoreau. Several GMAS members helped the locals view Bobolinks through Su Snyder's scope, and a folks signed a petition thanking the park for providing this habitat for grassland birds.
While the weather did threaten rain all day, sun-shine was actually a bigger factor, as my reddened skin will testify. Thanks to an anonymous donor, GMAS has two spanky new tents to protect us from rain and sun.
And butterflies? Warren Uxley gave a wonderful program highlighting the need for host plants in butterfly gardens. Our GMAS butterfly garden is a great collection of native plants and although the wind limited the butterfly sightings, we had at least 7 species throughout the day. These pocket gardens of habitat can make a huge difference- if we all would plant a few native plants in our own yards.
Now the quiz- did you recognize a Hackberry butterfly with his wings closed? The single large spot on the upper ventral wing is key to its identification. I was amazed at how many colors show on the ventral (under) wing. Look at those spots of blue! And although they are not in the butterfly garden, Byers Woods does have Hackberry trees. And as its name implies, it is the only host plant this butterfly will utilize. "Hackberry" is another tree species you'll want to add your host plant list for butterfly gardens!