Firey Skippers and Marine Blues – One Last Time?

OK, you’re probably getting tired of hearing about them but that is about all that is flying that is even slightly interesting. Saturday I accompanied Jen for a day on the Junk Jaunt. Our first stop was at a multi vendor location along NE Highway 2 in Ansley. One of the vendors was selling plants (mums and asters) so of course we had to check them out both for plant opportunities and also to see what butterflies might be hanging around the nectar opportunities they were so kind as to furnish. So of course there was a Marine Blue there which was a Custer County record! The rest of the day passed uneventfully (butterfly wise), but was still a success in my book.

Sunday we rested from our Saturday adventure and made a new plan for Monday which ended up being an afternoon road trip to Harlan and Franklin counties. One of our butterfly hunting strategies is to check out city parks and see what might be blooming and what might be hanging around the flowers. That strategy paid off in Orleans (Harlan County) where at the fairgrounds there was a nice assortment of mums and marigolds. After visually sorting through the Sachem skippers we finally located a couple of Fiery Skippers which hadn’t yet been reported from Harlan County. That brought the Harlan County species count up to 67. With no other prospects for county records there we headed east toward Franklin County where we hoped to find a Marine Blue.

Once past Harlan County Reservoir we took the river road east in search of any alfalfa field that had thus far escaped the fall cutting. We found none but did find several asters covered with a sundry assortment of butterflies but no Marine Blues. We reached Franklin (the town) and followed the signs directing us to the fairgrounds, hoping to duplicate our Harlan County success. Before we reached the fairgrounds we came upon the alfalfa field in bloom we had been searching for, complete with a plethora of butterflies. After about twenty minutes of searching a Marine Blue finally perched in front of us to complete our quest for the day.

The 90 degree temps have given way to the 60s. The cottonwoods are starting to drop leaves. Time is marching on and the butterfly season is definitely winding down. Here’s hoping for a few more weeks!!

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