Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Bugs Are Back!

Sharp-lobed Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba)

Spring has finally begun to arrive in a big way. Since it was in the 70s and sunny today, a visit to Bluff Spring Fen seemed in order. Everything has been delayed by ur cold spring, so with the arrival of warmer weather, things are popping into bud and bloom with surprising speed. The spring ephemerals are starting to bloom.

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

In a rich oak woodland, there should be drifts of color from the spring flowers. Our woods are pretty beat up, and have only reeived good care for about the last 20 years. Instead of drifts of bloom, we have dots of bloom. I’m beginning to suspect that the appearance of a rich spring flora will not happen fully in my lifetime. Still we have increasingly good species diversity.

Rue Anenome (Anemonella thalactroides)

In the wetlands, the marsh marigolds are in bloom. An English blogger and I were recently surprised to learn that this species occurs on each others’ continents as well as our own. Here’s photo documentation of a North American clump.

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) - in America

The burned areas are greening up nicely. Since it’s been requested, here is a shot of the aftermath of the burn. I’ll continue documenting its progress.

Unburned to the left, burned to the right

The bugs are back!! I saw several species of butterflies today. A stonefly posed long enough for me to photograph it. Most excitingly, I saw two species of tiger beetles. The beautiful green six-spotted tiger beetle did not hang out long enough for me to photograph, but I got a decent picture (my first) of the twelve-spotted tiger beetle.

Stonefly (Plecoptera)

Twelve-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela duodecimguttata)

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At 20:43, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Nice flower shots. Saw some bloodroot and trout lily during my Earth Day shift at Thatcher Woods today!

At 22:17, Blogger Ur-spo said...

spring in the midwest! it is delirous how lovely it feels when it finally arrives.

At 13:07, Blogger Texas Travelers said...

Liked the flowers.
Liked the setting.
Liked the insects.

Loved the Tiger.

Great post and story as usual.
Thanks for the scientific names.
Have a great week.

Come and visit a spell,

At 18:18, Blogger Roy Norris said...

Spring at Last Doug. I particularly like the Hepatica and the Rue Anenome.

At 19:45, Blogger cedrorum said...

I really liked the bloodroot. Also, thanks for the p-burn shot. I love pictures that show the no burn and burn areas. I can't remember if I've asked you before, but was it more common to get growing season burns or dormant season burns at the fen?

At 22:09, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Dave- Most of the trout lily at the Fen is from plugs that were transplanted and are spreading vegetatively. We get very little bloom from that species.

Spo- I've been thinking of you because the daffodils are in full bloom right now.

Troy- Thanks. I have a thing for tiger beetles, so it's always a treat to get to photograph them.

Roy- I'm pretty sure that I remember a European hepatica. Is there a species of rue anenome as well?

Cedrorum- Most historical records are from autumn burns. I'll keep posting updates.

At 12:50, Blogger Roy Norris said...


Yes there is a European Hepatica as well.

Two similar European Anemone (nemorosa - Wood Anemone - white) and (Ranunculoides -Buttercup Anemone - yellow).
I see a lot of nemorosa at the moment. Apparently it is a sign that the Woods that they can be found in are almost certainly ancient woods.


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