and so spring begins…

… in fits and starts mostly. Over the past two weeks the weather has gone from downright balmy to a gentle but persistent rain and then to clear and cool. Annoyingly, over the past several days the temperature  has been hovering in the low to high 50’s during the days, to near freezing at nights; consequently, the insect activity is markedly lower than at the same time last year. Fortunately, on Sunday, it was just warm enough for some decent insect activity.

Walking under our ornamental cherry tree, I could hear that familiar low buzz from the bees and then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a flash near the top of the branches. It turned out to be a Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), only the second that I’ve seen. Turns out there were two – the second had some significant damage to the left wings.

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 After a little while, a Question Mark (Polygonia interrogationis) flitted by (not to be confused with the Eastern Comma):

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As for beetles, they were rather sparse – I only came across one on the flowers; I’ve forgotten the species, but they usually are fairly common.

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The shots of the butterflies were taken with a Canon 30D with a 100-400mm lens – unfortunately they aren’t terribly good as far as resolution goes since the subjects were fairly high up.

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