Gossamer Tapestry

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

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Spring at Last

Marsh marigolds in recently burned fen

Yesterday was a Bluff Spring Fen workday. The weather forecast was cloudy with highs in the 50s. The weather was brilliant sunshine with highs in the upper 60s. I like that kind of wrong forecast. The cool, rainy weather we've been having has delayed the onset of spring. Things seem to be catching up this week. This is a particularly good year for marsh marigolds (Caltha palustris) at the fen. The watercourses are all lined with rivers of bright yellow. Prairie and bird's foot violets are in bloom.

Bird's Foot Violet (Viola pedata)

Insects are becoming more abundant. The bumble flower beetles were out in force this weekend.

Bumble Flower Beetle (Euphoria inda)

These guys mimic bumble bees in both appearance and behavior. I did a bit of research on them in preparing this post. There are reports that they have an association with mound-building ant (Formica obscura) of the sort that I posted about recently. Next time I'm out at the Fen, I'll have to check that out.

Euphoria inda- side view

I was very surprised to see one of my favorite day-flying moths out at the fen. It seems a bit early for hummingbird moths- but there was a beautiful, fresh specimen.

Hummingbird Moth (Hemaris thysbe)

The weather forecast has improved for most of the week. I'm off to dig up the vegetable garden.

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At 12:58, Blogger robin andrea said...

Wonderful views of the fen in spring. I love Hummingbird Moths and have never had a chance to see one. What a beauty. Great shot.

At 22:00, Blogger Ur-spo said...

ah the spring time; how lovely.

At 07:54, Blogger SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

I love this Bumble Flower Beetle Doug. A lovely looking creature and a good mimic too. Hummingbird Moths always fascinate me too.

At 12:19, Blogger Dave Coulter said...

Nice to see the green again, eh?


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