Category Archives: Triad Chapter

Triad Chapter — Reynolda Gardens — July 22, 2017

The Triad Chapter of the Carolina Butterfly Society held our scheduled butterfly walk in Reynolda Gardens, Winston Salem, NC, on Saturday, July 22, despite the forecast of sunny, very hot, and humid weather. The forecast was right. We began about 9:00 am with a temperature of about 83 degrees, which wasn’t too bad. However, the garden was very humid due to an early morning watering of the flowerbeds and lawn, and there was almost no air movement to cool things.

Despite the heat, we enjoyed walking through the beautiful gardens, and we managed to accumulate a small list of 10 species. There is a long flowerbed that forms a median at the entrance. It was alive with skippers, too many to count. Most were Fiery Skippers with Silver-spotted Skippers a close second, and also a scattering of Sachems and a few Ocola Skippers.

After an hour and a half, the temperature had risen to close to 90, but the heat index made it feel much hotter, so the group decided to end the walk. Here is our list for an hour and a half this morning:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – 3 (all black form females)
Cabbage White – 3
Red-banded Hairstreak – 1
American Lady – 1
Silver-spotted Skipper – 20+
Horace’s Duskywing – 5
Fiery Skipper – 30+
Sachem – 5+
Dun Skipper – 1
Ocola Skipper – 6

Dennis Burnette

Triad Chapter — Poteat Farm Jamestown, NC — June 17, 2017

On Saturday, June 17, thirteen of us explored part of the Poteat Farm in Jamestown, Guilford County, until about noon. The weather was mostly overcast, very humid, with temperatures in the mid 70s. This was a joint trip with the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society of Guilford County.

The Poteat Farm in Jamestown, which is about 70 acres, is a privately owned nature preserve along the Deep River between High Point and Greensboro. Owner Marie Poteat has reintroduced native grasses and other flowering plants in the old farm fields and wooded areas to attract butterflies, birds and other wildlife. Marie actively manages her property to reduce non-native plants.

Marie also has actively increased the number of milkweed species and numbers of milkweed plants all over the property, so butterfliers who are interested specifically in milkweeds had the rare opportunity to see and compare about a dozen milkweed species on this one site. We also found several host plants for other butterflies.

Although we had a great time seeing the plants and birds, the weather conditions were not conducive to butterflies. We saw only the following five species:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1, Carolina Satyr 1, American Lady 2, Sachem 2, and Dun Skipper 2.

We appreciate Marie opening her property to us!

Dennis Burnette

Triad Chapter — Occoneechee Mountain State Park — April 2, 2017

Occoneechee Mtn Elfin Trek 4-2-17

Our timing was right this time…we saw Brown Elfins on our Elfin Trek.

It has become almost an annual event for the Triad Chapter to look for Brown Elfins on the aptly named Brown Elfin Knob Trail at Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in Orange County just outside Hillsborough. Brown Elfins have a very narrow flight period in early spring. Some years we’ve hit it right, some years not.

On Sunday afternoon, April 2, we headed for this site just a bit over an hour east of the Triad. When we arrived at the parking area, we were surprised to find it full. Coincidently, Brian Bockhahn, education specialist for NC Parks, was leading a butterfly walk, and there were at least 35 people there for the short hike in addition to the normal weekend crowd. His target was Brown Elfins, as well, so Brian graciously allowed us to join his group.

With Brian in the lead, we didn’t get far before we began seeing butterflies. Several Eastern Tiger Swallowtails flitted by, and we saw Eastern Tailed-Blues, Silver-spotted Skippers, and Juvenal’s Duskywings within just a few yards up the gravel road. Not much further along as we were entering the woods Brian pointed out a Carolina Satyr, noting that it is the “mascot” butterfly of the Carolina Butterfly Society. By the end of the walk the group collectively had seen a dozen species, including our target butterfly. Here is Brian’s tally:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 12
Spicebush Swallowtail 1
Cabbage White 1
Brown Elfin 6
Eastern Tailed-Blue 3
Variegated Fritillary1
Gemmed Satyr 1
Carolina Satyr 8
Silver-spotted Skipper 3
Juvenal’s Duskywing 24
Sleepy Duskywing 1
Sachem skipper 1

Dennis Burnette

Triad Chapter – Greensboro Arboretum/Guilford County – Oct 16, 2016

CBS Triad Chapter,

On Sunday, Oct. 16, four of us visited the Greensboro Arboretum in the morning, then went into northwest Guilford County, NC, near the Forsyth County line to look along two dirt roads.

We saw a total of 5 Monarchs. While driving, we saw several Cloudless Sulphurs in addition to those at the two sites. Frost Aster was the primary nectar plant, although a few other species were being visited, including Jewelweed in damp areas. There were many unidentifiable grass skippers moving among the flowers at a distance. We identified a total of 15 butterfly species.

The temperature high was 78 degrees under a sunny, sky with a light breeze. The first number in the list below is the arboretum; the second number is in the northwest corner of the county.

Orange Sulphur 0; 1
Cloudless Suphur 8; 9
Little Yellow 0; 4
Sleepy Orange 3; 5
Eastern Tailed-Blue 0; 2
Variegated Fritillary 0; 2
Pearl Crescent 4; 10+
Common Buckeye 0; 4
Viceroy 0; 2
Monarch 2; 3
Common Checkered-Skipper 10+; 20+
Clouded Skipper 1; 2
Fiery Skipper 10+; 5
Sachem 5; 5
Ocola, Skipper 2; 0

Species total 15

Attached are a few photos from yesterday.


Triad Chapter – Reynolda Gardens – Aug 27, 2016

On Saturday morning, Aug. 27, 2016, under a sunny sky and in humid weather at Reynolda Gardens in Winston-Salem, NC, seven of us counted the following butterflies in about an hour and a half:

Pipevine Swallowtail – 2
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail – 13 (incl. 2 black form)
Black Swallowtail – 1
Cabbage White – 2
Cloudless Sulphur – 1
Sleepy Orange – 1
Azure species – 2
Pearl Crescent – 1
Red Admiral – 1
Common Buckeye – 1
Silver-spotted Skipper – 10
Spread wing skipper species – 1
Clouded Skipper – 1
Fiery Skipper – 20+
Little Glassywing – 1
Sachem – 30+
Dun Skipper – 1
Ocola Skipper – 4

Total species: 18

There were so many skippers that they were uncountable. Not only were there a lot of them, they were moving constantly, so an exact count was impossible. The vast majority were Sachems followed by many Fiery Skippers.

Despite the high humidity, we had a great time in a beautiful garden setting. Thanks to Barbara Cullen for organizing and leading our group.

Posted for the Triad Chapter by Dennis Burnette, Greensboro, NC

Triad Chapter – Historic Bethabara Park, Winston-Salem, NC – August 13, 2016

15 people walked around the Butterfly Garden, the Community Garden, and the Medicinal Garden for an hour and a half under VERY muggy conditions this morning as the temperature rose from 77 to 84, with RH in the upper 90s and calm wind.

Plenty of butterflies, but not much diversity. Nectar sources were mainly zinnia, tithonia, and phlox.

20+ Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 20% dark form
1 Cloudless Sulphur
2 Sleepy Orange
3 Eastern Tailed Blue
3 Pearl Crescent
1 American Lady
1 Red Spotted Purple
1 Monarch
8 Silver Spotted Skipper
3 Horaces Duskywing
2 Clouded Skipper
10+ Fiery Skipper
10+ Sachem
20+ Zabulon Skipper

Jim Nottke

Triad Chapter – Greensboro Arboretum Butterfly Walk – July 10, 2016

Twenty-four of us (a great turnout!) took a butterfly walk in the Greensboro Arboretum on Sunday afternoon, July 10. This was a joint outing with the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society of Guilford County. We had moderate success finding butterflies for this time of year, and everyone seemed to have a good time. The weather was quite cooperative with temperature in the upper 80s and a sunny sky with a light breeze.

Butterflies have been a bit scarce in the Triad lately, presumably because the recent dry weather may have caused plants to stop producing nectar. Recent rain seems to have turned that around. We were successful in finding eleven species of butterflies, including three Monarch butterflies, at least one of which was a female. We searched through many milkweed plants along the creek but didn’t find any caterpillars. Maybe she’s laying eggs now and we’ll find caterpillars in a week to 10 days.

We were able to find Pawpaw trees, the host plant for Zebra Swallowtail butterflies, that had fruit on them, a first for many folks. Unfortunately, that particular species of butterfly was a no-show, however. One of the nicest sightings was a very fresh and colorful Red Admiral butterfly sipping nectar from Purple Coneflower. See the attached photo.

Below is our list for the afternoon.


Dennis E. Burnette


Greensboro Arboretum, Guilford County, 7-10-16

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 8
Cabbage White 7
Gray Hairstreak 1
Eastern tailed-Blue 3
Silvery Checkerspot 1 (new for the Arboretum)
Red Admiral 1
Monarch 3
Silver-spotted Skipper 3
Juvenal’s Duskeywing 4
Fiery Skipper 4
Sachem 5
Unidentified skippers – about 6

Triad Chapter – Pilot Mountain SP Surry Co, NC – June 25, 2016

The Carolina Butterfly Society Triad Chapter sponsored a field trip to Pilot Mountain State Park in Surry County, NC, on Saturday, June 25. We had a congenial group of 9 participants.

The weather was very comfortable for us humans, although possibly not so much for the butterflies. Although it was mostly sunny for the first hour and a half, the sky became hazy and then overcast later in the morning. The temperature ranged for around 73 to about 78, an unusually cool morning for this time of year.

We found only nine butterflies of six species. The list is below. We speculated that the low numbers are influenced by the on-going drought in this area, which is likely to have reduced the nectar availability. We also wondered if the natural midsummer decline in some butterfly species that are between broods already has begun.

Although it was a butterfly walk, we saw other things of interest. In the dry meadow at the base of the mountain access road we saw two species of dragonflies, 1 Widow Skimmer and 2 Eastern Amberwings, all females. In addition, we were happy to see two blooming native plants that we don’t often see, the native orchid Nodding Lady’s Tresses (Spiranthes cernua) in the meadow and a small native of the lily family, Yellow Star Grass (Hypoxis hirsuta) on the top of the mountain.

The birders in the group saw or heard quite a few species of birds but nothing unusual or unexpected, and we saw two different spotted Whitetail Deer fawns, one in the meadow and one in the mountaintop picnic area.

Despite the low number of butterflies, it was a very nice outing!

Here is the butterfly list:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 1
Spicebush Swallowtail 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 3
Azure sp 1
Red Admiral 1
American Lady 2


Dennis E. Burnette

Triad Chapter – Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area, NC – Apr 24, 2016

On Sunday afternoon, April 24, the Triad Chapter of the Carolina Butterfly Society held a butterfly field trip to Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area in Orange County, NC near Hillsborough. The day was dry and sunny with temperatures in the upper 70s. We had announced the trip on Carolinaleps so in addition to Triad members we also had participants from the Triangle and as far away as Greenville, NC. We expect to have more field trips closer to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area this summer. Everyone is welcome.

We had hoped to see Brown Elfins. We were aware that this was a bit late but had seen them near this date at that site in previous years. Alas, we missed them this year. Lori Carlson made up for that by spotting and photographing Dusted Skipper nectaring on Creeping Charlie near the parking area. We ended the afternoon with 18 species of butterflies. The list is posted below.

Occoneechee Butterfly List, April 24, 2016

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 24+ (numbers uncountable in woodlands)
Spicebush Swallowtail 1
Cloudless Sulphur 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 1
Azure sp 1
Variegated Fritillary 1
Pearl Crescent 2
Anglewing sp 1
American Lady 5
Common Buckeye 1
Red-spotted Purple 1
Carolina Satyr 3
Silver Spotted Skipper 7
Hoary Edge 1
Duskywing sp 1
Sachem 3
Zabulon Skipper (female) 1
Dusted Skipper (Seen and photographed by Lori Carlson)

Total species: 18


Dennis Burnette
Greensboro, NC
Guilford County

Triad Chapter – Bethebara, Winston-Salem, NC March 12, 2016

Triad butterflies,

Given the late notice of our field trip and the cloudy and cool weather forecast, we had a good turn out of 8 people for our first Triad Chapter butterfly walk of 2016. We met at Harriet McCarthy’s butterfly garden in Historic Bethabara in Winston-Salem. The morning actually was both warmer and sunnier than predicted.

Only a few plants were blooming; there were a few early one in the garden and several wildflowers (all non-natives) in the mowed lawn. They were attracting native bees of various species but no butterflies.

We had a nice walk of a mile or a bit more through the historic vegetable garden recreation, around the adjacent settlement grounds, and along the nearby greenway. We saw a Cabbage White, a second white butterfly that was too far away to identify, one Orange Sulphur, two azure species, and an Eastern Comma. Our walk was accompanied by the singing of Upland Chorus Frogs and American Toads.

Attached is a photo of one of the azures that paused long enough for the photographers in the group to grab a few shots. This one is by Ann Walter-Fromson. Any guesses about whether it’s a spring or a summer azure?


Azure, Photo taken March 12, 2016 at Bethebara.