Sunday, April 23, 2017

Hiking KY. with Friends

 A recent trip to Kentucky celebrated friendship and a love of nature.  A large group of us invaded the Gen. Butler State Park (Ky.) for some hiking and lots of time with friends.  There were some nice wild flowers, but not the most pristine hiking.  We'll cover that later.
Jan Voelker, Connie Sauter, Jim Davidson and Susan Nash
A portion of my hiking buddies are noted here.  There was a much larger group, but these three were my cabin mates plus Jim Davidson.  Most of us have met through Jim Davidson and he has mentored us in plants, mushrooms, butterflies, dragonflies and all things moving around outdoors!

Connie moving in for the shot
 The Miami Mist, Phacelia purshii was in magnificent bloom at the Gen. Butler mansion's trail to the cemetery.  It was one of the few relatively level walks we made.  Much of the terrain and trails were steep and in none too good of repair.

Miami Mist, Phacelia pershii
 If you go to see wildflowers in Kentucky, I'd recommend using the Wildflowers of the Tennessee ans Ohio Valley (also good for Shawnee Park and Forest in Ohio.)  There are several types of Phacelia, but only two species have this lovey fringed edge on the flower.  Miami Mist is the larger and more colorful of the two species.

Juniper Hairstreak butterfly
A green butterfly is always a show stopper.  The only green butterfly in our part of the U.S. is the tiny Juniper Hairstreak.  Several were seen this day and chased about by excited naturalists!  This one was most cooperative as it nectared on Butterweed.  Butterweed is a native Senecio (Southern U.S.) that has been moving steadily north in the last 10 years.  Climate change, much?

Gemmed Satyr
The Gemmed Satyr may be more common that we think, as this tiny butterfly looks pretty non-descript until one sees the "gems". It too, is a show stopper if you manage to get the sunlight glinting off the gem spots. This butterfly has erratic "flippy" flight, commonly associated with satyrs. Take a moment to look closer at those little brown bugs!

Jim Davidson and Cheryl Harner
Parting shot: your blogger getting in trouble!  I can't help myself.  Jim Davidson is such a dear friend to so many who have learned from him and enjoyed the songs of yesteryear.  We have a tendency to walk and burst forth with old botanizing songs like:  "Oh, Dear, What Can the Madder be?"  Never underestimate the power fun has on learning capabilities.  It is far more fun and memorable to sing names than it is to argue over botanical nomenclature.  I wish everyone could have a mentor like Jim!