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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Great Butterflies in 2017

What a great year so far! I was given directions to a Jutta (Balder's) Arctic location in Michigan's upper peninsula. So I made a trip to the UP in early June to look for this specie. I found the arctic on June 3, 2017 in a Black Spruce / Tamarack bog on Fs 3141 - Thanks Todd Jones. It took about an hour before one came flying by. It finally landed about 5 minutes later and posed for pictures. An excellent lifer butterfly. 
Today, June 20, while at work, I saw a few Crossline Skippers and European Skippers. These marked my 61st and 62nd species for the year in Michigan. The Crossline Skippers were new to Ingham County for me. Many more skippers should be appearing in the next week.

Jutta Arctic - Oeneis jutta ascerta
June 3, 2017
Chippewa County, Michigan

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Chippewa County May 15,2017

On May 15, my son David and I took a day trip to Chippewa County, Michigan looking for butterflies. Our main target was Henry's Elfin which we failed to locate. We did however come across
4 species of elfins. We had Eastern Pine Elfin, Western Pine Elfin, Brown Elfin and Hoary Elfin. We had 10 species of butterflies for the day. We concentrated our time along Forest road 3344. The weather was perfect; high around 75 and little to no wind.

Western Pine Elfin - Incisalia eryphon
May 15, 2017
 Chippewa County, Michigan
South Wilwin Road
Michigan Life #117

Hoary Elfin - Incisalia polia
May 15, 2017
Chippewa County, Michigan
Forest Road 3344

Brown Elfin - Incisalia augustinus
May 15, 2017
Chippewa County, Michigan
Forest Road 3344

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Moving Along in 2017

After a couple of days in the mid 60's, butterflies are becoming more prevalent.
On May 10, I went to Dansville SGA in Ingham County. A great place for all things outdoors.
Ran up a nice list of early May butterflies. Fourteen species were recorded.
Best sighting for the day was an Eastern Pine Elfin. This is only my second sighting for Ingham County. The elfin was in approximately the same location as the previous sighting. I had missed it
here the last couple of years.
Also in the days list were Eastern Tiger, Spicebush and Black Swallowtail. Also had FOY (first of year) American Copper and Silver-spotted Skipper.

Eastern Pine Elfin
Dansville SGA

Sunday, April 16, 2017


The butterfly season has began in Michigan. The weather has been unusual to say the least. It is cold one day and in the 70's the next. Such weather can be confusing to butterflies. Despite the strange temperature fluctuations, 5 species have been recorded in Ingham County, Michigan. Ingham is my home county. We have had Cabbage White, Spring Azure, Eastern Comma, Mourning Cloak and Red Admiral. With strong winds pushing warm air from the south, Red Admirals are being reported in higher than normal numbers for this time of year.
The following pictures are from Gratiot/Saginaw SGA. 

Mourning Cloak - Nymphalis antiopa
Gratiot County
Gratiot/Saginaw State Game Area
April 2, 2017

Eastern Comma - Polygonia comma
Gratiot County
Gratiot/Saginaw State Game Area
April 2, 2017

Thursday, December 8, 2016

It has been a good year

It is amazing how long a year is and yet, at the same time, amazing how quickly a year passes.
This year, 2016, has been fantastic to say the least. I was fortunate to do a lot of butterflying in many excellent locations.
In late April, I made a trip to Panama. In mid to late May you would have found me in Michigan's upper peninsula and in late September I made a trip to south Texas. A darn good year.
My Michigan year list is 85 species (with 4 Michigan lifers) -  a personal best. Texas was amazing with 17 lifers. While in Texas I was able to see the Variegated Flycatcher that visited South Padre Island. It was only the 7th record for North America!
Panama was great. So many butterflies, birds and orchids.
All ready looking forward to 2017!

Northern Blue - Lycaeides idas
Michigan - Alger County
2016 June, 25

Crimson Patch - Chlosyne janais
Texas - Hidalgo County
Edinburg Scenic Wetlands
2016 October, 3 

Red-washed Satry - Pierella helvina
Panama - Cocle Province
2016 April, 21

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

It Has Been a Very Good Summer

Yes, I have been slacking in my posts. But, I have been busy butterflying!
Recently I ventured to Monroe County, Michigan. Monroe County has 2 excellent butterflying areas; West County Park just east of Dundee and Petersburg SGA south of Petersburg.
During my visit to these excellent sites, I record my Michigan lifer Horace's Duskywing. Several females were in the ditch along Lulu Road between Teal Road and Anders Road. Also seen was a Southern Cloudywing (best as I can tell), setting a new late date for Michigan.
Currently Michigan 2016 total is 81species.

Southern Cloudywing - Thorybes bathyllus
Monroe County - Michigan
August 8, 2016
I based my ID on the large white windows on the forewings.

Horace's Duskywing - Erynnis horatius
Monroe County - Michigan
August 8, 2016
Michigan Lifer #116

Harvester - Feniseca Tarquinius
Monroe County - Michigan
August 8, 2016
Always a good find.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


It has been awhile since my last post and a lot has happened.
In late June, Jackie (my girlfriend) and I went to the upper peninsula for some quality time. Along the way we were able to locate (with excellent directions) a few Northern Blues (Lycaeides idas). Northern Blue was a lifer for me. It only took getting out of the car to find one. Very fortunate. We had 3 in about 30 mintues.

                                          Northern Blue - Alger County, Michigan
                                          2.6 miles east of Shingleton
Also making a nice showing were Red-spotted Purples. The ones we saw were the subspecies L. a. arthemis. We call them White Admirals.

                                          Red-spotted Purple (White Admiral) - Schoolcraft County
                                          Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

Not to be out done were the ever present Northern Crescents (Phyciodes selenis). Some people believe our three Michigan species are all the same species. Maybe, maybe not.

                                         Northern Crescent - Schoolcraft County, Michigan
                                         Seney National Wildlife Refuge.

We finished the 4 day trip with 17 species. A nice total for relaxing and sight seeing.
We are ready to go back!