Friday, March 16, 2012

Flower Hill Farm BUTTERFLIES OF 2011 ~ Favorite Skippers



Skippers are feisty little butterflies of the Skippers Hesperiidae Family. 
Flower Hill Farm has residents from both the Subfamily: Grass Skippers and Spread-wing Skippers. 
I truly cannot be certain of these tiny creatures but guess this one to be a Black Dash. I am hoping for help from others and then will add the facts about this tiny adorable Skipper later.



Peck's Skipper Polites peckius, may be sighted in the hundreds during one of their flight periods. They  are most likely to be eyed in late May and the first brood flies about till the end of July. Then the second brood will take wing from the beginning of August flying into September. Females attach one pale green egg at a time to a stem of one of their host grasses. Peck's Skippers overwinter in both caterpillar and chrysalis forms.


Zabulon Skipper Poanes zabulon  Or   Hobomok Skipper Poanes hobomok  ??


The Silver-spotted Skipper Epargyreus clarus, of the subfamily Spread-wing Skipperis a very common resident of Massachusetts and it is our most sizable skipper. Normally there is only one brood dashing and skipping about during June through the middle of August. Females fasten green ribbed eggs to leaves of the legume family or more precisely, on a plant near the host plant. Here at Flower Hill Farm I imagine them to favor the Honey Locust along the north field. They overwinter in the chrysalis stage. 





It looks as though there might be a tiny Tawny-edged Skipper Polites themistocles hanging out with these Silver-spotted Skippers. Just a guess from eyeing the bit of red on the wings.


I have read and witnessed the Silver-spotted Skippers dashing about really fast and happily I can say the same thing for spring. 
Warmer days have nearly melted all the snow on our hillside. 
Last evening we joyfully listened to the first woodcocks of the season!! There were three out in the fields and I chanced to see one flying too! Their magical mating dance and wing song is a sure sign of spring!


Mount Holyoke and Mount Tom under the changing skies. 


The landscape is rapidly melting from this . . . 


 to this.  Wild Turkeys are happy too! 


Look out little caterpillars and chrysalises!!

Another friday begins and already mid March . . . I hope you can click over to Katarina's 'Roses and Stuff' to see 'signs of Spring' from Sweden and around the globe.


10 comments:

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Carol:
How we love your description of these as 'feisty little butterflies' which somehow conveys so much in the way of character of which, from all that you say and show, they are not without. Once more, this post is so well researched and informative that we find ourselves, yet again, in awe of the breadth and depth of your knowledge.

And at the close, how wonderful to see the wild turkeys, a bird which is never, to our knowledge, to be seen in this way in the UK.

sandy said...

I enjoy your butterfly reviews. I didn't see as many skippers last season as usual.

Two days ago, I saw the first mourning cloak butterfly of the year. it was one of those 70º days.

Gillian Olson said...

The skippers are marvelous, such wonderful pictures. Those macros are superb. The turkeys and sky pictures are also great. Thanks.

sweetbay said...

Those Skippers are so cute. The only ones I can id with confidence are the Silver Spotted and the Che ckered, and Randy ided the Checkered for me. lol Great pictures of the turkeys, especially the second one. They have the most beautiful iridescent-colored feathers.

Randy Emmitt said...

Carol,

Cool to see skippers, this year only one so far.. I think you have a male Hobomok Skipper. Remember most skippers are best IDed from the side photo.

NatureFootstep said...

I wish I had that many butterflies. Yours are so beautiful and well captured on the flowers. Glad your spring is arriving. :)

Gail said...

I love the Big Eyed Skippers! They make me smile and sometimes laugh! xoxogail

Katarina said...

It's such a joy to watch all sorts of critters emerging from wherever it is they've been hiding! Wish I could have some wild turkeys here too!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

i am always refreshed after even a short visit with you.

Love the Skippers. They animate our gardens so beautifully.

Great photographs dear Carol.

Sharon

Jorgelina said...

Beautiful butterfly species.
Hugs

Jorgelina of Argentina

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