If you plant it they will come

For the upteenth (ok probably about 10th) straight year Sleepy Oranges (Abaeis nicippe) have found their way to my yard. Drawn by the presence of their larval hostplant Wild Senna (Cassia marilandica) they have become annual visitors, arriving each year in late spring from their home range in more southern climes. Not being widely sold, if you have these plants in your yard you’ll likely be the only person in town that does and somehow the butterflies find you. Without wild senna chances are you will never see a Sleepy Orange in Nebraska. So while the plant is a little hard to come by you might look into planting some on your property. Fair warning – while not overly aggressive this plant does spread some by seed. It also grows to over 5′ tall so take that into account as well.

While you would think that once locating plants to lay eggs on that the population would continue to grow throughout the season. I have not found this to be the case. They are fairly common once the first group emerges but each successive generation becomes less numerous until by summer’s end they have often disappeared. Also if you have but one plant and several females find it by the time the caterpillars are done it might not be much to look at. But established plants usually bounce right back. Wild Senna is native to southeast Nebraska.

The addition of Sleepy Oranges brings the “Big Year” species total to 42.

Niobrara Valley Preserve Trip #1

Monday, June 1 Jen and I left Elm Creek for the Niobrara Valley Preserve located in Brown, Keya Paha and Cherry counties, arriving there about 10:00 am. As promised, the weather was warm, with temps already in the mid 80’s. Mainly we were looking for spring flying Duskywings (Erynnis sp.) whose larvae feed on oak and Northern Cloudywings. Chris Helzer had been to the Preserve the previous week and photographed some Dusted Skippers which the previous year had been found flying together with Northern Cloudywings. As it turned out we were way late for the Duskywings (spring is officially over) and were fortunate to find one Northern Cloudywing which were just emerging. For the day we sighted 15 species, four of which were new for the “Big Year”. They were Northern Cloudywings, Tawny-edged Skippers, Giant Swallowtails and Little Yellows.

We started out on a prairie hillside north of the river where we had found Dusted Skippers/Northern Cloudywings the previous year. The Dusted Skippers were there but no Northern Cloudywings. But there were Dusted and Tawny-edged Skippers and Melissa Blues. We checked a low muddy spot on the road and found Common Sootywings and Roadside Skippers there. After about an hour we moved on to Fairfield Road south of the river which proved to be the hotspot for the day. There we found a Giant Swallowtail, a Northern Cloudywing at a mud puddle and the Little Yellow. We followed the walking trail back east into the trees for a spell but finding little activity we tried a wet seep that we usually find productive. There we found Pearl Crescents and Eastern Tailed Blues. By this time it was 1:00 pm and the temperatures were in the mid 90’s. Not yet acclimated to the summer heat and feeling it we called it a day having found four new species for the year.

Northern Cloudywing – Thorybes pylades

While there has been one August record in Nebraska, Northern Cloudywings generally can be found flying in a single generation peaking in mid-June. Larvae feed on various legumes including Illinois Bundleflower and Round Headed Bush Clover. Adults frequent prairie hillsides and woodland margins.

Tawny-edged Skipper – Polites themistocles

Tawny-edged Skippers are one of our most common skippers, being found statewide and flying in multiple broods from mid-May into late September. It’s larvae feed on various grasses. It can often be found in urban environments.

Giant Swallowtail – Papilio cresphontes

In Nebraska Giant Swallowtails can be found in colonies centered around naturally occurring Prickly Ash (Zanthoxylem americanum, a larval hostplant) or as wide ranging individuals. They can be attracted to your yard by planting rue (Ruta graveolens) or Gas Plant (Dictamnus species) upon which the larvae will also feed. Rarely a year goes by without a female dropping by the rue in my yard. Farther south the larvae can be a pest on citrus crops. Larger larvae resemble bird droppings. At the Niobrara Valley Preserve Prickly Ash is an abundant understory plant and Giant Swallowtails can be found there with some regularity.

Little Yellow – Pyrisitia lisa

Little Sulphur dorsal view
Little Sulphur ventral view

Spring winds occasionally blow some southern species into the state and that appears to be the case with this butterfly. It cannot survive Nebraska winters so any Little Yellows found in the state are strays/vagrants. Larvae feed on a variety of legumes so seasonal breeding populations are possible. In Nebraska, most Little Yellow sightings are from the southeastern counties.

So with the addition of four species the “Big Year” list stands at 41.

One note on the Niobrara Valley Preserve – all buildings including the visitor center and restrooms are closed due to the Coronavirus so plan accordingly.

Western Nebraska Spring Trip

After a week of watching the weather forecast, Monday Jen and I and the dog drove out to Chadron to try to locate as many of the spring flying butterfly species as we could before they vanished. We had been waiting for a couple of good days in succession and the forecast Sunday night was for conditions Tuesday and Wednesday to meet our expectations. We left with some trepidation as we had not visited the area for quite some time and in that interval wildfires in 2006 and 2012 had altered the landscape in large portions of the Pine Ridge substantially.

Tuesday we drove out to Monroe Canyon/Gilbert-Baker SWMA and found the area intact with butterflies awaiting our arrival. After spending several hours there we went a couple of miles east to check out Pants Butte and Sowbelly Canyon. Here the landscape was quite different with the remains of what were once majestic pine forests laying like skeletons across the horizon. But there were butterflies to be found, with most congregating on mud and flowering bushes. All in all it was a great day in the field — sunny, not too windy with temps in the mid 70s. In all we found 24 butterfly species, eight of which are new to my Big Year List. The eight new species were:

Afranius Duskywing (Erynnis afranius)

In Nebraska the Afranius Duskywing has been found in the panhandle counties where it flies in two generations. It’s larvae feed on several wild legumes.

Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon)

The Anise Swallowtail is another species restricted to panhandle counties where larvae feed on Musineon tenuifolium. There is a main spring flight followed by a smaller mid summer from mid June to mid July. We saw one in Sowbelly Canyon and one at Wildcat Hills SRA.

Checkered White (Pontia protodice)

Checkered Whites can be found statewide flying in multiple generations. They were common on Tuesday. I netted several of them to see if they were possibly western whites but they did not appear to be. A post on those two species should be forthcoming.

Arrowhead Blue (Glaucopsyche piasus)

This was the find of the day. One was found on mud (where butterflies often congregate to take in minerals and nutrients they do not get from nectar) in Sowbelly Canyon. The species can be found from late may into June. It has only been recorded from the canyon bottoms of Sioux County where its larvae feed on several legumes. Most years it goes unreported.

Melissa Blue (Plebejus melissa)

Melissa Blues can be found statewide but are more common the farther west you go. They fly in multiple generations, with larvae feeding on legumes including alfalfa on occasion. The subspecies samuelis (The Karner Blue) is found in sporadic colonies from eastern Wisconsin to New York and is endangered. We saw perhaps a half dozen.

Anicia checkerspot (Euphydryas anicia)

Anicia Checkerspots fly in one spring brood in Sioux, Dawes and Box Butte counties where they are occasionally abundant. This day we saw but one taking nectar from a chokecherry blossom. Colin Croft found them in abundance a day earlier near Agate Fossil Beds National Monument.

Ochre Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia ochracea)

This uncommon butterfly flies from late May through June. Its larvae feed on various grasses. Sightings from outside western or northern regions of the state are rare. We sighted one in the Gilbert-Baker camping/picnic area.

Varuna Arctic (Oeneis uhleri varuna)

This cryptically marked butterfly is an eastern prairie extension of a group of butterflies normally associated with higher elevations or colder climates. It flies in a single spring brood and in Nebraska has not been found east of the panhandle counties. It has a habit of landing in grasses where it becomes virtually invisible. We saw perhaps 20 on Tuesday without looking to hard.

Tuesday night we checked the local forecast which called for clouds to move in mid-day Wednesday. So Wednesday morning we left to check out Wildcat Hills SRA south of Scotts Bluff, arriving there about 11:00 am. The plants that were in flower and attracting butterflies in Sioux County were spent and attracting nothing at Wildcat Hills. Noting clouds gathering in the west we headed south to Kimball and west on I-80 to a unique spot a couple miles south of mile marker 1. We got there 5 minutes before the clouds and noted a half dozen blues and a skipper which all skillfully avoided identification and then went dormant when the clouds overtook us. After spending about an hour there waiting for the sun and butterflies to reappear we headed back east. After a quick stop at the I-80 East rest area (just west of Sidney) for an uneventful climb up rattlesnake hill we gave up for the day and headed home. So one awesome day and another not quite as awesome. Such is life.

The eight new species for the year bumps my year to date total to 37. One other note – The Celastrina (spring and summer azures) are in a constant state of revision. Superficially the spring azure in the Pine Ridge has a different appearance than specimens from the eastern part of the state and may at some point be “split” into separate species or subspecies. We did see one of these at Gilbert-Baker.

This trip pretty much wrapped up any last chances for spring flying species, most of which overwinter as pupae or late stage caterpillars. The “summer” flying species (fritillaries, viceroys, red spotted purples, wood nymphs, hairstreaks, and most skippers) flights should begin shortly if they haven’t already in southeastern Nebraska. It should be fun!

Return to Box Elder/Jeffry Canyon WMAs – Three new species and a “midden”

After being stuck on 23 species for the year for 12 days due to the cold snap and still stinging from being shut out at the Scotia Chalk Mine I made another trip to Lincoln county to check out Box Elder WMA for third time this year. It took till noon for the morning clouds to clear so I left Elm Creek about 1:00 pm. Upon arriving at Box Elder I checked out the hilltops. Silvery Blues (Glaucopsyche lygadmus) were still flying but in lesser numbers as were Gorgone Checkerspots (Chlosyne gorgone) and Gray Hairstreaks (Strymon melinus) which had been found there on May 6. But new for the year I found several Dusted Skippers (Atrytonopsis hianna), a Common Sootywing (Pholisora catullus) and another skipper which I did not immediately recognize. I was ten miles back down the road before a light came on and I realized it was a Hobomok Skipper (Poanes hobomok). Not having seen one for a while they had kind of fallen off my radar.

Dusted Skippers are mixed grass prairie specialists. They fly in one generation a year from mid May through mid June. I always look for them in “shaggy” looking prairies which usually have lots of little bluestem, a bunchgrass which is also one of the larval hostplants. Adults take nectar from narrow leaved puccoon and locoweed among others. In the absence of good pics here is a link to some better ones: https://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Atrytonopsis-hianna. Our subspecies turneri has fewer and less defined markings than the nominate subspecies illustrated there.

Hobomok Skippers are an elusive bunch in Nebraska which is on the western fringe of their range. I do not know of a good location to reliably locate them. When you come across them they are never common, usually just an individual or two. I had not seen one in over 10 years so was very happy to see this one which was also a Lincoln county record. They fly in a single brood with most sightings in the mid May to mid June time frame. Larvae feed on various grasses.

Common Sootywings main flight is from late May-early June after which they occur sporadically into early September. They prefer open ground so are most often found on/along roads. Larvae feed on various weeds including Lambsquarters and Amaranths. The species is common statewide.

I also stopped back at Jeffry Canyon WMA on the way home where I’d seen something when we were there on May 6 that tweaked my interest. After poking around the internet I’d decided it was an eastern wood rat (aka pack rat) nest called a “midden”. I’d never seen one before so I hiked back up to the base of the tower to get a picture. Most interesting component of the nest was the prickly pear cactus “leaves”. I made sure to keep my car keys in my pocket!!

Also saw a few neat butterflies at Jeffry Canyon WMA including a Juniper Hairstreak and Goatweed Leafwing, both of which I’d seen earlier in the year but still neat to see.

So now is a good time to see these three species, the Dusted Skipper in mixed grass prairies, The Hobomok Skipper which could turn up anywhere and the Common Sootywing which will probably be found along rural roads. Happy Hunting!!

Happy Jack Peak/Scotia Chalk Mine

On Sunday May 17 Jen and I headed north to the Scotia Chalk Mine/Happy Jack Peak to meet our friends Pat and Diane Miller and Jon Nikkila to search for Fulvia Checkerspots (see May 6 entry) and any oak feeding Duskywings (see May 10 entry). The Chalk Mine is located in Howard county a couple of miles southeast of Scotia on NE Highway 11. The weather was marginal when we left – mostly cloudy, temps in the low 60s and a chilling breeze from the northwest. But the forecast called for clearing skies so being optimistic we departed and hoped for the best. We all arrived at the Chalk Mine about 1:00 pm and began the arduous (more so for some than others) climb to the “Peak”. After about 45 minutes the sun did begin to break through from time to time and the butterflies began to stir. I mostly stuck to the hilltop where I thought Fulvia Checkerspots might make an appearance while the rest of the crew worked the south and east faces of the hill. Oaks are are found on the lower portions of the hill while the top half of the hill is a higher quality native prairie. I had once seen a Duskywing at this location but had not been able to get close enough to make an id. So Sunday Jen and Jon had the same experience – a probable sighting but no id. So the group found five butterfly species that afternoon – Gorgone Checkerspots (Chlosyne gorgone), sulfers (Colias sp.) and Painted Ladies (Vanessa carduii), Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta) and the unidentified Duskywing (Erynnis sp.)

After the clouds closed back in Jon headed home but with a good bird sighting/photograph (Bay-breasted Warbler I believe). He seemed pretty excited about it. As we came up with no new butterfly species for the year the rest of us comforted ourselves with a pizza from the Pizza Palace in Burwell. Not a bad consolation prize if I do say so myself.

So we all got some good exercise and fresh air. I’ll be looking forward to revisiting this site later under better conditions.

A local association has assumed ownership of the property and it was very well kept. There was evidence of cedar removal and the grounds were neat and clean. I’d recommend a visit if you’ve never been there. The mine is supposed to be open from Memorial Day to Labor Day but with the virus who knows. Here is a link to their website https://visitnebraska.com/scotia/happy-jack-peak-and-chalk-mine.

Bay-breasted Warbler

Butterfly Gardening

If it’s not to late and you haven’t already purchased all your plants for the year you might consider some plants that attract and sustain our native butterflies and pollinators. There are several great resources for our state. The first is a NebGuide by Steve Spomer and Kim Todd titled “Butterfly Gardening.” It is available online at http://extensionpublications.unl.edu/assets/html/g1183/build/g1183.htm or at your local extension office. The second is a guide/application for a pollinator garden which is at https://entomology.unl.edu/pollinatorapp.pdf. Between the two they will assist you in finding plants for your property that will help our insect friends survive in our ever changing world. The only addition I might have is Rue (Ruta graveolins) which in my yard has proved extremely hardy and serves as a larval hostplant for both Black and Giant Swallowtails.

I would encourage planting species native to this area (other than rue of course) as they should require little care and are familiar to the native insect fauna. Had I to start my prairie garden over I would take the Nature Conservancy approach and gather local seeds and start from there. But alas at this late stage I just buy “native” potted plant species, sourced locally if possible. As the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum is closed with the rest of the UNL campus I will not endorse any one particular nursery over another. I will leave that to all of you in the comments section.

Happy gardening – (here is a picture of a butterfly milkweed from a Pawnee County road ditch). My screen saver and something I aspire to have in my yard someday

The Oak Feeding Duskywings

In Nebraska there are three Duskywings whose larvae feed on oaks, these being Juvenal’s (Erynnis juvenalis), Horace’s (E. horatius) and Sleepy (E. brizo). Two, Juvenal’s and Sleepy, fly only in the spring while Horace’s has three flights – spring, mid and late summer. They rarely stray far from oak trees and so their distribution in the state largely matches that of native oaks. True to their name they are brown/black in color. Juvenal’s and Horace’s are medium sized while the Sleepy is about half their size. Juvenal’s and Horace’s Duskywings are extremely difficult to separate in the field with the best identifying mark being the presence of two lighter spots on the ventral hindwing (as indicated by the arrow).

Top – Juvenal’s Duskywing (Erynnis juvenalis) dorsal and ventral Bottom – Horace’s Duskywing (E. horatius) dorsal and side views
Sleepy Duskywing – Erynnis brizo

As mentioned earlier the distribution of these species is limited by the presence (or absence) of native oaks. Public access areas to see these butterflies (skippers actually – hooked antennae instead of clubbed) range from Indian Cave State Park, Twin Oaks SWMA and Table Rock SWMAs in the southeast up to the Niobrara Valley Preserve in the north central part of the state. Large portions of the state with oaks have no records for these three species so there are a lot of possibilities out there.

The season is moving along and I did not see any of these Duskywings on our earlier visit to Indian Cave State Park so another trip to southeast Nebraska is on my agenda next week when the weather warms up since two of these are spring fliers and I don’t want to miss them.

Eastern NE Anglewings (Polygonia sp.)

There are three species found in eastern Nebraska – Polygonia interrogationis, P. comma and P. progne.  They differ from most other butterflies in that they overwinter as adults and often prefer rotting fruit or tree sap over flower nectar.  These three species are quite similar in appearance and while there can be several color phases or forms the descriptions below will be adequate to identify them.  While myself not having seen any Polygonia yet this year I have heard that all three have already been sighted this year.  So a quick note on this group and how to identify them.

The Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) is so named for the silver marking on it’s ventral hindwing.  This silver mark is curved with a separate spot underneath it thus forming a “question mark” from which it gets its common and species name.  It can also be separated from comma and progne by the presence of a black bar on the upper forewing that the other two lack.  It is generally larger than the other two but this is not a reliable trait.  The Question Mark usually also has a more elongate profile while the other two appear “rounder”.  Larvae feed on a wide variety of plants from elm trees to wood nettles.

The Eastern Comma is also named for the silver marking on its ventral hind wing.  It lacks the silver dot beneath the silver “comma” marking from which it gets its name. As with the Question Mark, larvae feed on a wide variety of plants.  It is sometimes referred to as the Hop Merchant due to its utilization of hops as a larval hostplant.

Polgonia comma, dorsal and ventral

The silver marking on the Gray Comma (Polygonia progne) is shaped like a kinked straw – straight with a bend in the middle.  It gets its name from its more gray shading of the ventral hindwing which is also slightly two toned with the base being darker than the outer portion.  It is generally the smallest and rarest of the three, sometimes going unreported for a season or longer.  It is also the most selective regarding its larval host plants, laying eggs almost exclusively on Ribes species (gooseberries and currants).

All three of these fly in multiple broods so they might be found at any time.  Three times in 30+ years of observations I have hit the trifecta – finding all three species at the same locality on the same day.  The first time was at/around Victoria Springs SRA in Custer county on June 30, 1990.  The second was somewhere in Webster county on June 17, 2001 when a co-worker took me to his secret deer hunting location to look for Banded Hairstreaks (which we found as well).  And then on June 23, 2011 all three were found at Red Fox SWMA in Stanton county. 

There are a couple Polygonia species (zephyrus and satyrus) distributed in the western United States that have been found in the panhandle as well. Sightings of these two species are possible (but rare) in the western most counties of the state.

Harlan County Spring Trip

Ever since finding the first and only specimen of the Cobweb Skipper (Hesperia metea) in Nebraska at this site on May 2 1989 I’ve frequently revisited this location trying to recapture lightning in a bottle (or a skipper in a net) but to no avail. But over the years I’ve found quite an interesting mix of butterflies at the south end of the Harlan County Reservoir dam. The location has some Corps of Engineers plantings mixed in with some native plants. The Corps plantings include rows of cedars, honey locusts and honeysuckle interspersed with a few lilacs. Native vegetation includes chokecherry and aromatic sumac. At this time of year the lilacs, honeysuckle, chokecherry and aromatic sumac are all in bloom and attracting butterflies. The Corps has also introduced a vetch into the area that the Wild Indigo Duskywings (Erynnis baptisiae) have taken to as a larval hostplant. So with the abundance of nectar sources and the cedars and vetch this has become my go to spot for Juniper Hairstreaks (Callophrys grynea) and Wild Indigo Duskywings.

So it was with those expectations that I made a solo (sorry, no Jonathan so no cool pics) trip to Harlan County May 5. It was sunny and in the high 60’s but there was a stiff wind from the northwest. Luckily for me my site was on the south side of a shelterbelt and I was largely unaffected by the wind. So I got to spend a couple of hours there before the clouds moved in and shut me down. While not rediscovering the Cobweb Skipper I was able to document 12 species, four of which were new for my 2020 Big Year list. I found (* indicates new for 2020) *Wild Indigo Duskywing (Erynnis baptisiae), Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes vialis), Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), Marblewing (Euchloe olympia), Alfalfa Butterfly (Colias eurytheme), *Juniper Hairstreak (Callophyrs gryneus), Henry’s Elfin (Callophyrs henrici), Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), *Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos), *American Painted Lady (Vanessa virginiensis), Painted Lady (V. carduii), and Red Admiral (V. atalanta).

Wild Indigo Duskywings are normally difficult to find, but do fly in multiple generations (likely at least three) throughout the summer. Larval hostplants (absent an introduced vetch) would normally be various Baptisia species, and possibly also Lupines and False Lupines. This nickel to quarter sized butterfly does appear to wander a bit as I have had larvae or seen females on the Baptisia in my “urban” prairie garden here in Elm Creek. While not much to look at it is an interesting species that you can find at this site with regularity and also attract to your yard.

Wild Indigo Duskywing – Erynnis baptisiae

Juniper Hairstreak larvae feed on, you guessed it, cedars and other junipers. Adults can be found in a two flights, the first in the spring and a second in late June/July. Adults often perch on cedars and can be spooked/located by tapping cedar branches. It is an small (dime sized) but very attractive butterfly. Perhaps the greatest impediment to sighting this butterfly is just the abundance of cedars. So many cedars to look on. Even with all the cedars available this butterfly rarely is seen in numbers. This trip I saw one. A half dozen is probably the most I’ve seen here where adults seem to prefer aromatic sumac flowers.

Juniper Hairstreak – Callophyrs gryneus (upperside)
Juniper Hairstyreak – Callophrys gryneus (underside)

Perhaps the most perplexing find was the rediscovery of Henry’s Elfins which were first found there in 2017. In southeast Nebraska this butterfly is normally closely associated with redbud trees, these being their larval hostplants. But Harlan County is hundreds of miles from the nearest redbud tree. A second finding here would seem to indicate a resident population using something other than redbud as the larval hostplant. James Scott (The Butterflies of North America) lists various Prunus species as possibilities. If this is the case in Nebraska this butterfly could occur anywhere. But this Harlan county site is the only spot outside of southeastern Nebraska where this butterfly has been found. Perhaps it goes unnoticed due to its small size, drab coloration and early flight period.

Olympia Marblewings are still flying and should continue for another couple of weeks before they disappear for the year so there is still an opportunity to get out and see those. We’ve also found Roadside Skippers everywhere we’ve made stops so they should not be to hard to find right now either. And keep an eye out for Henry’s Elfins as well. As always feel free to contact us at NebraskaButterflies@gmail.com with comments, questions, pics and observations.

Return to Box Elder WMA

On May 3 I met Jon Nikkila at Box Elder SWMA in Lincoln county for a second look at this WMA. Our first visit was very early (April 11) and we looked almost exclusively for Giant Yucca Skipper tents (of which we found two) along with one Olympia Marblewing. This trip the main target species was the Fulvia Checkerspot. We were unable to locate that butterfly but should have other opportunities for that species through June. However our visit was not in vain. With a side trip to Jeffrey Canyon SWMA 10 miles to the east six more species were added to the 2020 Big Year list bringing the tyd total to 19 species.

Our best find of the day were Silvery Blues (Glaucopsyche lygdamus) which were almost common at Box Elder. This butterfly can only be found for a couple of weeks in the spring. In Nebraska it had only been found in the panhandle until the 1980s when it was discovered in the loess hills of southwest Nebraska. Subsequent investigations in that area have proved fruitful. In that portion of the state (and at Box Elder) the larval hostplant is slender milkvetch (Astragalus gracilis).

Our sightings for the day were (* denotes first Big Year sighting) Roadside Skipper (Amblyscirtes vialis), *Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes), Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), Olympia Marble (Euchloe olympia), *Clouded Sulfur (Colias philodice), *Gray Hairstreak (Strymon melinus), *Silvery Blue (Glaucopsyche lygdamus), *Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia), *Gorgone Checkerspot (Chlosyne gorgone), Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta) and Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui).

Something else that caught our eye was three dung beetles, each attempting to wrest control of a dung ball from the other two. That picture begs a caption. If you think of one or have any questions or observations to share let us know at NebraskaButterflies@gmail.com

All in all an enjoyable afternoon despite not finding Fulvia Checkerspots. Silvery Blues and Olympia Marbles should be out a couple more weeks before they disappear for the year so stay alert to the possibility of seeing them.