So our quest was to see the Federally Listed Karner Blue Butterfly. We had no idea what was in store for us....
My friend Sarah Clarkin, Executive Director of the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and Park, got us started on our butterfly hunt by showing us pictures and talking about where the butterflies like to be and described the flowers they frequent for nectar. Thank you Sarah!
The story is epic from here... We journeyed into the preserve on the BLUE trail.... We came to the first opening in the trees and - Whoosh - there was a KBB (Karner Blue Butterfly) landing on Claire's leg.
We continued on and saw several more KBBs - Yippee!
Contemplating the road ahead....
Then, around the bend and into the woods we found.... the prettiest Eastern Hognose Snake I have ever seen! Thanks for the photo Hollie!
Very cool snake... pretty afraid of us... and some of us afraid of him (or her??). Here is where our paths diverted... a few of us lingered while the rest moved onward. Blue was no longer taking us where we wanted to go but alas the map holder was lagging behind....
We saw male and female KBBs on butterflyweed as if posing for a poster. I counted 11 KBBs myself. I'm sure in total we saw more than that! We saw swallowtails and monarchs and beautiful dragonflies and damselflies and tiger beetles. One damselfly that Hollie and I were bound and determined to remember was the Ebony Jewelwing - emerald green body with black wings - Thank you Hollie!
Ultimately our 3/4 mile trip turned into a 2.3 mile hike. Luckily it was a beautiful day and there was much to see along the way. What started out as a butterfly walk turned into a butterfly expedition! Nice job everyone! I think it was harder on the adults than the kids!
The bullfrog tadpoles in the pond were HUMONGOUS and there was a nest of baby phoebes that had fallen out of a tree that we came across too. It had clearly happened recently and we heard momma bird was in the vicinity. Joe and Claire were really interested in them... and then well, interests turned to trying to feed the fish and the tadpoles (with rocks and plant material from shore).
So what the heck is that butterfly sitting on anyway???? Ok - gross.... coyote or fox poop based on the hair content.... nice. Everything really is part of the "web of life".
Thanks for the adventure everyone... next time maybe walkie talkies?