The butterflies loved the summery weekend as much as we did.
One of our black swallowtails (Papilio polixenes) emerged.
We collected the caterpillars from our carrot beds last fall and I hung the chrysalises under the playhouse (I was worried that if they were in the garage they might get hot and emerge early, or I might forget about them). A couple of weeks ago, I moved them to outside our front door so we wouldn't miss the appearance of the butterflies, and C saw this one not long after it came out. I'm afraid the other one is dead, though.
This seems to be a bumper crop for Harris's checkerspots (Chlosyne harrisii). I saw tons of the caterpillars a few weeks ago in our fields and over the weekend, there were dozens and dozens of them "puddling" on the driveway.
We've collected these caterpillars every June for the last three years or so (I thought they were early, but they were just on time with last year's butterflies). I brought home three caterpillars this year, but they escaped the jar (I didn't put the net on very well). One built a chrysalis on a nearby piece of wood, but when I went to check it, it had already emerged, but no sign of it (it has been postulated that the ducks ate it). One disappeared altogether. And one I returned to the jar where it built its chrysalis.
The gap in the netting at the top of the jar, through which the caterpillars had escaped, must have been big enough for a butterfly to slip through, too, because I found this guy on the window Sunday afternoon.
Hanging out with the puddling checkerspots was this white admiral (Limenitis arthemis arthermis).
This is one of the most striking--and thus easy to identify--butterflies we see around here.
This tiger swallowtail (I think Canadian--Papilio canadensis) led me on a merry chase through the puckerbrush. I can see from its tattered wings (Z calls these "bird strikes") that it has good reason to be wary.
When the boys and I waded in the river, we saw two species of broad-winged damselflies: the river jewelwing (Calopteryx aequabilis)
and the ebony jewelwing (Calopeteryx maculate). Seeing these metallic-green beauties flutter in the forest and you can't help but believe in fairies.
On one of my strolls up the driveway, I got a good look at this dragonfly, which I'm pretty sure is a basket-tailed emerald (Dorocordulia libera).
I spent some time Sunday afternoon, while the boys were at baseball practice, sitting by the pond, watching dragonflies. There were mostly dot-tailed whitefaces (Leucorrhinia intacta), which are members of the skimmer family,
and the four-spotted skimmer (Libellula quadrimaculata), a new one to me this year (here it is hanging out with a dot-tailed whiteface). Dragonflies in the skimmer family tend to perch on vegetation near water and fly low over the surface, patrolling the banks of the pond and chasing away interlopers. They're fascinating to watch.
Finally, I saw this little damselfly perching like a spreadwing, but it looks nothing like any of the spreadwings in my books. Is it just a pond damsel with its wings in an odd position? I don't know. I find damselflies even harder to puzzle out than dragonflies.
Finally, the crawler. C found this baby painted turtle in our garage on Sunday and I took him to what's left of a vernal pool near our pond (figuring it was safer than the pond with its giant snapping turtle inhabitant).
Once I let him out he skittered a short ways and then just sat there.
And sat there. He wasn't going anywhere while I was sitting nearby.
The next day, C found a turtle next that had been raided by a raccoon (we assume) during the night, right outside the garage, but what was left of the eggs looked way too small for even this tiny guy to have come out of them. So where he came from and what he was doing in the garage will remain a mystery.
What's going on in your neck of the woods?