Friday, April 11, 2014

Butterflies! Bugs! Blooms!

Butterflies!  Bugs!  Blooms!  It must be Spring!  It was certainly warm enough today to call it springlike.  Up to 70 degrees at least, according to the thermometer in my friend Sue's car as we drove together to the Skidmore woods, hoping to find some of the season's surprises.

"I bet we'll see a Mourning Cloak," I said to Sue as we started off into the sunlit woods, and no sooner were the words out of my mouth than this exquisite butterfly with its deep-brown velvet wings trimmed with cobalt and gold came wafting by.  And then, to our hearts' joy, this lovely creature lit on a rock and spread its wings and stayed right there for the longest time, allowing us to capture its beauty in clear and close-up photos.

Just a few moments before, Sue had spotted a flash of emerald green on the air, as this Green Shield Bug came flitting by before landing on a tree trunk.  Like the Mourning Cloak Butterfly, the Green Shield Bug also winters over as an adult and is one the first insects we are likely to see as the weather warms.

(Here's another photo, taken a few years ago, of the Green Shield Bug's funny face with its black beady eyes and tiger-striped antennae.)

We did not expect to see any flowers yet, since it's only a few days since the snow cover finally melted away in the woods.   So imagine our surprise when we spied this opening Hepatica bloom emerging from its furry bud amid its cluster of bright-green leaves.   Like the two insects we had seen, Hepatica leaves also winter over, the leathery three-lobed leaves looking as fresh as before they were buried under the snow.


Elizabeth said...

Huzzah! I was getting worried after your last post, but I'm glad spring has finally made it up your way! :D And now I know to keep a look out for wildflowers here as well.

The Furry Gnome said...

Good sightings and great pictures! It's just nice to get out these days.