Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Forget The Nets - Maggie's Got the Camera!

While the boys enthusiastically hunt with their butterfly nets, Maggie opts for my new camera. Today I will share some of the photos she has taken in the last 2 weeks. Actually a few of these might be my shots - occasionally I get to use my her our new camera as well.

Maggie was sitting on the ground taking photos when she realized that this garter snake was sitting next to her enjoying the sun. We think this is the same snake she and I keep encountering near our deck.

Chipmunks were everywhere at Jenning Environmental Education Center

Brothers can be nature too!

Some type of fungus growing on the trees

Another Garter Snake - we seem to attract these!

Caterpillar of an American Dagger Moth

A spiderweb among the prairie grasses

Cattails in almost every stage of their growth cycle.

Wild Asters among the ferns and cattails

FRitW says this hole in a tree could be home to a raccoon.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Monarch Tagging

The boys and I attended a Monarch tagging seminar recently. We learned about the life cycle of a Monarch butterfly and how to tag one from a park ranger at a nearby Pennsylvania State Park. It was a fascinating lesson with great tips on how to tell the difference between a Viceroy and a Monarch, how to tell male and female Monarchs apart, and how to identify and propagate Milkweed plants. After the lesson, all of the participants were sent out to catch Monarchs in the nearby butterfly fields.

Milkweed. The pods are full of fluffy white seeds.

The boys learned tons from the seminar and loved the butterfly hunt afterward. We saw 2 Monarchs, several Viceroy, and lots of Sulfur butterflies. Only one member of the group managed to catch a Monarch and since we were still out hunting butterflies, we missed the tag and release.

Even though we didn't catch a Monarch, we had a wonderful time and the boys are attempting to catch butterflies on a daily basis. Our new butterfly nets are getting a lot of use!

The hunt is on!

FRitW is a very good at catching butterflies.

I am pretty sure this is a Great Spangled Fritillary

FRitW holding a milkweed pod after finding milkweed on our property.

Tomorrow, I'll share Maggie's way of  "capturing" nature!

Oh, and if you are interested in tagging Monarch Butterflies in your area - go to this website for more information: monarchwatch.org