The First Sunday in May
Yesterday was absolutely miserable from a weather standpoint. It was windy, drizzly, and in the high 40s. I spent much of the day outside at the Fen, and, frankly, would have been happier indoors making cheese. I vowed that if today's weather was a repeat, I'd do just that. Fortunately, today was a beautiful spring day- sunny and in the high 60s. I went for a walk, camera in hand, out at the Fen. It was a Sunday of firsts.
We're seeing the first blooms of a lot of plants this weekend. I saw my first shooting star, first blue-eyed grass, and first wood betoney. I had already seen bird-foot violets, however this weekend was the peak of their bloom.
Slowly, the insects are returning, as well. On Friday I saw my first monarch. This is extremely early and it was a very worn specimen. I wonder if this might not be one of the very rare individuals that make it all the way back to Illinois from Mexico (most of them lay eggs and die in Texas and it's the progeny that make it back here).
Eastern Forktail - Female
I saw my first damselflies of the year today. Eastern forktails (Ishnura verticalis) are usually the first species of spring. This year was no exception.
Eastern Forktail - Male
I'd already seen (and photographed) a twelve-spotted tiger beetle this year, but wasn't entirely happy with the result. I did much better today.
Twelve-spotted Tiger Beetle (Cicindela duodecimguttata)