Cleveland Metroparks – West Creek was exploding with this grasshopper species on Saturday. Thousands were hopping on the trails, meadows, and parking areas.
It seems like I see more of this wildflower every year. Can’t say I mind, it’s very cheering.
“I’m a hawk and I can eat a snake. If I want to. I guess.”
If your yard has clover growing in it, it might have these too: Chickweed Geometer, a relatively small but colorful moth about 3/4″ to 1″ in width, resting in the grass with its wings spread. My records show that my last observation was also in September– its their time of year.
I’ve noticed an unfortunate trend on my blog, where I post a photograph of something I’ve seen and I add a comment like “I’m not 100% sure what this is, there’s a bunch that look just like this, I’m gonna guess this is XYZ, etc.” Well, here I am again, although this time I’m pretty sure I’ve got the correct ID for this butterfly. The Duskywings do have an unfortunate tendency to look alike, but the arrangement of the white dots on the forewing and the time of the year suggest that it should be Wild Indigo Duskywing.
Flycatchers can be hard to identify; I believe this is an Eastern Phoebe but it was not displaying the characteristic tail flick that is common with the species.
Once you have learned to identify the most common butterflies, the real challenge begins: realizing when you have something completely new on your hands! At first I though this was a Little Wood-Satyr, but the brown line on the wing seemed too jagged and the time wasn’t right: here in the north, the flight of Little Wood-Satyr ends in July. So then I entertained the idea of Eyed Brown. Was the brown muted because I was shooting my photos in the shadows? No. This butterfly is simply not brown enough to be Eyed Brown.
So it was off to the internets to look for alternatives. For now, I’ve settled on Northern Pearly Eye. I am waiting for BAMONA to confirm my tentative id.
Here is a sampling of the moth species I was able to photograph this month. To start off we have a tiny moth (that’s a blade of grass it is clinging too), known as Crambus agitatellus. It has no common name and few details are known about this moth, but it seems to be quite common across much of eastern North America.
The most curious thing about this moth, the Morbid Owlet, is what little information I could find about it online– essentially nothing but its name.
I’ve tentatively identified the below as the Gray Spring Moth. I’ve seen several of this species along the trails in my backyard.
Here we have the first of two moths that I observed along the rail road tracks at Roscoe Ewing Park in Medina: Eusarca confusaria, also known as the Confused Eusarca moth. As you might guess by the name, this moth has a variable appearance and can be easily confused with several other similar species.
Finally, we have the most photogenic of the group, the Delicate Cycnia. This moth was very interested in a patch of wild mint and was cooperative for a large number of photographs.
I find Skippers hard to identify, and the Zabulon Skipper (Poanes zabulon) is no exception. I submitted this photograph to BAMONA for confirmation that it was in fact a Zabulon, and they confirmed it for me.