Monday, July 14, 2014

Gathering our "Tribe"

 The Butterfly Workshop  held by the Midwest Native Plant Society was another successful gathering of our "tribe."  These events are friendly, but focused, encounters of a like-minded group of people. Nature-lovers from far and wide gather to share information and knowledge and have a great time.(McCormac's recap of the event here)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, Papilio glaucus
 We were thrilled to see our old friends, both human and lepidopteran. There were not huge numbers of butterflies, but a good number of species were present. Our group had Tiger Swallowtail, Red Admiral, American Painted Lady, Silver-spotted Skippers, Pearl Cresents, Sulphurs, and a Peck's Skipper. Another highlight was the Hummingbird Clearwing moth, Hemaris thysbe.

Our tribe of nature lovers on the field trip.
 It is wonderful to be in the field with a group of people who are actively engaged in learning and finding nature in the field.  Everyone calls out their "finds" and we sort them out together.  Dragon and damselfly sightings were just as welcome as the saw-fly larva and prairie forbs we enjoyed together.

Sandy and Jeffery Belth
 And new friendships are made!  This is Sandy and Jeff Belth from Indiana.  Jeff has a book on the market called Butterflies of Indiana which is a good cross-over guide for Ohio.  I love the way his book is organized for easy ID of like species.  If you don't have if book, you will want to get it!

Jim Davidson and Jaret Daniels in the field.
Jim Davidson is a long-time friend and one of my favorite field companions. We met up with Jaret Daniels, author of Butterflies of Ohio (also an excellent field guide) for a little pre-scouting and comradery.

             Spicebush Swallowtail puddling
Real nature enthusiasts are just as excited to see a beautiful Spicebush Swallowtail as they are to see the larval form of these leps, the caterpillars. I brought my blue Rubbermaid bin that has become a traveling exhibit of Cecropia moth caterpillars. We had a good representation of silk moth caterpillars and a few butterfly caterpillars as well.  It was a very educational event all the way round.

A nature freak moment...
Part of the fun of these events is the good company we keep.  The speakers and organizers had their own little "nature freak" moment in a parking lot in downtown Lebanon, Ohio.  What could get this many people hanging out in a darkened parking lot late on a Friday night?

Chimney Swifts dropping into a chimney
 It was a flock of Chimney Swifts!  We had heard them circling above the city street and we followed them to the back of the building to watch the live nature show.  These birds roost communally at night, until they are ready to start south for the winter months.

On the corner of  Main Street
 So if you wander through Lebanon, Ohio some evening in the next moth or so, this is the building you will want to find.  It is probably their City Hall. The Chimney Swifts' chimney is located at the back of the building,

You might want to try dinner here,
The City Building is easy to find, as it is located right across the street from Lebanon's most historical landmark, Ohio's oldest Hotel, the Golden Lamb.  Dinner was wonderful, too bad the other dinners didn't know about the live show going on across the street!

Hope to see you all again at the Midwest Native Plant Conference!  A special thank-you goes out to Kathy McDonald, Jim McCormac and all the other wonderful people who help to put these event together and run them.  My hat is off to you!

No comments:

Post a Comment