Category Archives: Triad Chapter

Latta Plantation and Cowan’s Ford Butterfly Walk – Aug 1, 2015

The Latta Plantation and Cowan’s Ford butterfly walk was jointly sponsored by the Triad and Midlands Chapters of CBS.

Attendees at Latta Plantation were David and Marty Kastner, Chris Talkington, Lenny Lampel, David Woods, myself. Cowan’s Ford was attended by John and Margaret Barlow, Gene Schepker, Debra Donahue, Linda Allman.

Total species 41, possibly 42 as there was an unID Pearly-eye.

Latta Plantation 8/1/15
10:00-1:00 and 2:00-2:15

Black Swallowtail 1
Spicebush Swallowtail 3
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 29 (4 dark females)
Little Yellow 1
Sleepy Orange 9
White M Hairstreak 1
Gray Hairstreak 4
Eastern Tailed-Blue 8
Variegated Fritillary 7
Pearl Crescent 4
American Lady 1
Painted Lady 1
Common Buckeye 1
American Snout 1
Red-spotted Purple 1
Carolina Satyr 1
Hoary Edge 3
Silver-spotted Skipper 4
Northern Cloudywing 1
Horace’s Duskywing 4
Common Checkered-Skipper 2
Swarthy Skipper 2
Fiery Skipper 8
Little Glassywing 24
Zabulon 3
Ocola Skipper 2
Skipper species 2

Cowan’s Ford Wildlife Refuge 8/1/15
2:30-5:00

Spicebush Swallowtail 1
Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 10 (1 dark female)
Sleepy Orange 2
White M Hairstreak 1
Gray Hairstreak 3
Summer Azure 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 4
Pearl Crescent 16
American Lady 1
Red Admiral 3
American Snout 1
Red-spotted Purple 1
Hackberry Emperor 1
Common Wood-Nymph 1
Southern Pearly-eye 2
Creole Pearly-eye 1
Pearly-eye species 1
Carolina Satyr 5
Little Wood-Satyr 1
Hoary Edge 3
Silver-spotted Skipper 4
Northern Cloudywing 1
Southern Cloudywing 1
Horace’s Duskywing 1
Fiery Skipper 2
Little Glassywing 1
Dun Skipper 3
Clouded Skipper 2
Zabulon 1

Neck Road, Mecklenburg County 8/1/15
5:30-5:40

Attended by: Chris Talkington, David and Marty Kastner

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 2
Common Buckeye 1
Silver-spotted Skipper 1
Fiery Skipper 25
Sachem 2
Little Glassywing 1
Delaware Skipper 1
Zabulon Skipper 2
Ocola Skipper 1

Carl Ganser

Triangle Area Butterfly Weekend – June 13-14, 2015

The weekend was a success with sunny skies, although hot temperatures in the 90’s.

On Saturday the 13th, we visited Yates Mill Park in Raleigh, Bud Webster-leader. In attendance were Ellen Brown, Dennis Burnette, Carl Ganser with three guests, Cyndy Hummel, and Greg Morris.

Butterfly sightings:

Eastern tiger swallowtail-1
American painted lady-1
American snout-2
Common buckeye-1
Pearl crescent-6
Red admmiral-1
Red-spotted purple-2
Variegated fritillary-4
Cabbage white-8

Dragonflies:
Slaty skimmer
Great blue simmer
Spangled skimmer
Twelve-spotted skimmer
Blue dasher
Ebony jewelwing
Eastern pondhawk
Eastern amberwing
Widow skimmer
Common whitetail
blue-fronted dancer

On Sunday, June 14, we visited Penny’s Bend in Durham, Bud Webster, organizer. In attendance were Ellen Brown, Randy Emmitt, Carl Ganser, and Richard Stickney.

Butterfly sightings:

Eastern tiger swallowtail-2
Zebra swallowtail-2
Pipevine swallowtail-3
Gray hairstreak-2
Banded hairstreak-1
Eastern tailed blue-9
Carolina satyr-1
Great spangled fritillary-1
Variegated fritillary-4
Pearl crescent-8
American snout-1
Red-spotted purple-2
American painted lady-3
Monardh-1
Common buckeye-5
Cabbage white-1
Clouded skipper-1
Crossline skipper-8
Swarthy skipper-5
Fiery skipper-1
Wild indigo duskywing-13

Dragonflies:
Widow skimmer
Great blue skimmer
Slaty skimmer
Spangled skimmer
Banded pennant
Caico pennant
Halloween pennant
Black saddlebags
Carolina saddlebags
Blue-fronted dancer
Eastern pondhawk
Lancet clubtail
Black-shouldered spinyleg
Eastern amberwing

Many thanks to Ellen Brown for recording the sightings both days.

Bud Webster
Raleigh, NC

Triad Chapter – Bethabara Park, May 30, 2015

We had a great turn out of 15 folks yesterday for the Carolina Butterfly Society Triad Chapter butterfly walk in the old Moravian settlement, Historic Bethabara Park, in Winston Salem (Forsyth County), NC. First we checked the progress of the expansion of the butterfly garden hosted by CBS member Harriet McCarthy, who is in charge of both the oldest medicinal garden in the US as well as the new butterfly garden. Then we spent some time looking for butterflies around the grounds and the adjacent part of the greenway led by Gene Schepker.

Considering the paucity of butterflies in the eastern part of the Carolinas this year, we did pretty well. We saw a total of 40 butterflies of 14 species. Included among them were two particularly notable butterflies. The first was a Harvester that was perched on a blade of grass on its side just an inch or so off the wet ground. Not only is it good to see that species, the behavior was odd. Perhaps it was trying to dry our and warm up after a rainy night. (A photo is attached.) The second notable butterfly was a pearly-eye.

One of our group spotted the pearly-eye in the edge of the woods in dense shade where it was hard to see next to the brightly lit greenway. Someone in the group speculated that it could be a Creole pearly-eye, probably the least common of the three species of pearly-eyes that we have in most places in NC. Using their camera flashes, several folks got photos of it perched on the side of a tree at about eye level, which was good because it was hard to make out the details in the low light.

It clearly wasn’t a Southern Pearly-eye because the antennal clubs, which were visible even in the shade, were orange and black, not all black. That narrowed the choices to Creole Pearly-eye and Northern Pearly-eye. Creoles usually have 5 spots on the forewing, but none of the photos showed more than 4 on the one we were looking at, even though it did move it’s forewing up and down a slight bit. That left the other field mark, the so-called “knuckles” on the median forewing line. It did have some small knuckle-like extensions but they weren’t as largely “knuckled” as might be expected. Consequently, we’ve concluded that it was a Northern Pearly-eye. I’ve attached one of my photos.

For photos see the Triad Chapter Photos page

The complete list:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 4
Cabbage White 6
Orange Sulphur 1
Sleepy Orange 1
Harvester 1
Eastern Tailed-Blue 6
Great Spangled Fritillary 3
“Summer” Azure 1
American Lady 2
Northern Pearly-eye 1
Silver-spotted Skipper 5
Hoarace’s Duskywing 1
Sachem 2
Zabulon Skipper 6 (all males)

Totals: 40 butterflies of 14 species

Dennis

Dennis E. Burnette

Triad Chapter – Cedarock Park, Alamance Co., NC May 16, 15

Carolina butterfliers,

The Carolina Butterfly Society Triad Chapter hosted a butterfly field trip in the hope that Triangle butterfliers would join us in Cedarock Park south of Burlington in Alamance County, NC. The park is about half way in between the Triad and the Triangle. In addition to several folks from the Triad, we did have two people from the Triangle, as well as one from the Charlotte area and one from Greenville, South Carolina.

It was a nearly perfect day for looking for butterflies. In our area the low numbers of butterflies in 2014 seem to be repeating in 2015 so far, so we didn’t have high expectations. Consequently, when we ended the morning with 68 butterflies of 16 species, we were happy. We even saw a couple of grass skippers, a group that has been scarce this year.
In addition to seeing a reasonable assortment of butterflies, we heard several Wood Thrushes singing, saw an American Toad and heard Cricket Frogs, encountered several species of dragonflies, and even spotted an Eastern Garter Snake. All in all, it was a fun outing.
Below is out butterfly list for the day.

Dennis Burnette

Alamance County, NC, Cedarock Park, 5/16/15

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 3
Spicebush Swallowtail 1
[Unknown dark swallowtails 2]
Cabbage White 3
Orange Sulphur 2
Sleepy Orange 1
Azure sp 34 (oddly no Eastern Tailed-Blues)
American Snout 2
Silvery Checkerspot 2
Pearl Crescent 3
Red Admiral 1
Red-spotted Purple 5
Hackberry Emperor 1
Gemmed Satyr 2
Carolina Satyr 3
Northern Cloudywing 1
Zabulon Skipper 1
[Unidentified dark grass skipper 1]

Species 16; Individuals 68

Triad Chapter – Haw River State Park – June 14, 2014

The Triad Chapter of the Carolina Butterfly Society held a butterfly walk and caterpillar talk on Saturday, June 14, 2014, at Haw River State Park on the Guilford/Rockingham County line in North Carolina.

We met at 9:00 am during an unusual weather day for mid June in that it was sunny but the temperature at the nearby airport was only 68 degrees. Dew was still on the leaves when we set out. As people have been reporting all season, we have had a low number of butterflies throughout the eastern part of North Carolina from about Guilford County east, so combined with the cool morning, it was somewhat remarkable that we saw 13 species of butterflies in about a two hour period. All but four were single individuals, and the rest were two each. The list is below.

Following the walk, Jim Nottke, assisted by Charlie Cameron and Gene Schepker, conducted a talk and demonstration with live butterfly caterpillars that they had brought from home where they are rearing them. This was of particular interest to the children attending, although all of us learned a lot from the experience.

This event was open to the public as part of the NC State Parks “Year of the Lepidoptera” activities. Nothing is planned yet, but we talked with the park staff about doing something similar at a later date in late summer or next spring.

—–

Below is the list of butterflies seen on this trip. All were in the Rockingham County portion of the park near the Haw River in a natural gas line right-of-way, and around the lake.

Zebra Swallowtail 1
Spicebush Swallowtail 2
Cabbage White 2
Eastern Tailed-Blue 1
Summer? Azure 2
Gray Hairstreak 1
Pearl Crescent 1
Great Spangled Fritillary 1
Silver-spotted Skipper 2
Southern Cloudywing 1
Southern Broken-Dash 1
Delaware Skipper 1
Zabulon Skipper 1

Dennis

Dennis E. Burnette
Greensboro, NC 27410
deburnette@triad.rr.com

Triad Chapter – Historic Bethabara Park – May 24, 2014

Fourteen butterfliers participated in the Triad Chapter’s field trip to Historic Bethabara Park in Winston-Salem, Forsyth County, NC on May 24.

We began the morning by checking on the progress of the expansion of the butterfly garden. Harriet McCarthy, a CBS member and also a Master Gardener, is the curator of this and other sections of the garden. Harriet explained the design of the butterfly garden and how it fits in with the other garden sections that include vegetables, fruits, herbs, and medicinal plants that are thought to have been used by the original Moravian settlers.

Following the garden demonstration, we spent some time looking for butterflies around the grounds, and we walked a portion of the adjacent greenway. This part of the outing was ably led by Gene Schepker.

Butterflies have been somewhat scarce in our area so far this season. We felt lucky to have seen 45 butterflies of the following 12 species:

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 7,
unidentified dark swallowtail 2,
Cabbage White 3,
Azure sp. 8,
Silvery Checkerspot 3,
Pearl Crescent 3,
Eastern Comma 1,
Silver-spotted Skipper 2,
Common Sootywing 2,
Least Skipper 4,
Little Glassywing 1,
Sachem 3,
and Zabulon Skipper 6.

Dennis

Dennis E. Burnette
Greensboro, NC 27410
deburnette@triad.rr.com

Triad Chapter – Cedarock Park – May 4, 2014

It was a beautiful sunny warm day to be out looking for butterflies on Sunday afternoon, May 4, and Cedarock Park in southern Alamance Co. south of Burlington, NC, looked like a great place to find them. The park features a variety of good butterfly habitats, including meadows, woodlands, pond edges, and a pretty little creek, usually with many nectar flowers. Unfortunately, the butterflies didn’t agree; we saw only five species!

No doubt the lack of butterflies was due to another species that was abundant throughout the park: humans. The park had recently been mowed and raked right up to the edges of the woods and ponds to the extent that there were almost no nectar flowers in sight anyplace.

Probable reasons for the close grooming of the park grounds became obvious quickly. The park was quite crowded. There was some sort of music event near an outdoor stage, and what appeared to be a disc golf tournament was going on with several teams of four flinging their discs long distances over much of the meadows. Folks not involved in either of those activities were gathered around the pond fishing or occupying the picnic shelters.

After about an hour and a half of walking along the woodland edges and around the pond, our butterfly group decided to give up. As several of us agreed, any day you’re outside in such fine weather is a good day, so at least we got to enjoy a nice walk in the park.

Those of us trying to learn dragonflies saw Common Baskettail, Lancet Clubtail, Blue Corporal, Common Whitetail, and Green Darner near the pond. That’s one more species of dragonfly than our total for butterflies!

The few butterflies we saw mostly were in flight (looking for nectar flowers, probably). We noted one (possibly two) Eastern Tiger Swallowtail, two yellows that probably were Orange Sulphurs, one Pearl Crescent, and one Silvery Checkerspot. The one butterfly species that was reasonably abundant was Carolina Satyr, since it’s a woodland species unaffected by the recent mowing. We saw 8+ of that species.

Dennis

Dennis E. Burnette
Greensboro, NC 27410
deburnette@triad.rr.com

Triad Chapter – Gibson Park – April 20, 2014

After our weather roller coaster ride with so much cold and wet weather punctuated by unusually warm days, it was a pleasure to get out and have a nice walk at Gibson Park in High Point, Guilford County, NC on Sunday afternoon, April 20, that was actually like a normal spring. The weather was nearly perfect. We began under a sunny sky that stayed that way all day. The wind was a bit gusty at the beginning of the walk, but died down to a pleasant breeze for most of the afternoon.

The butterflies made us work to see them. A sulphur flew by just before the park entrance, probably an Orange Sulphur, as did a Falcate Orangetip. We saw a second Falcate Orangetip in the park. As we walked the woodland trail, stopping at open glades, and then along the greenway, only a few other butterflies made an appearance, including three Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (one a black form female by the parking lot), one Eastern Comma, two Juvenal’s Duskywings, and one Silver-spotted Skipper, so butterflies were a bit scarce. On the other hand, there were dozens of freshly emerged dragonflies. A coincidence? We could hear lots of frogs out in the greenway marsh, including spring peepers, bullfrogs, and cricket frogs.

It’s still early spring here in the Triad, so 10 butterflies of six species isn’t really all that low, particularly for the type of habitats we passed through.

And we had a nice spring walk, of course!

Dennis

Dennis E. Burnette
Greensboro, NC 27410
deburnette@triad.rr.com

Triad Chapter – Laurel Bluff Trail, Greensboro – March 22, 2014

The Triad Chapter of Carolina Butterfly Society had our first field trip of the 2014 season on the second full day of spring, March 22. We joined the T. Gilbert Pearson Audubon Society (Guilford County) and members of the NC Native Plant Society on a wildflower walk along Laurel Bluff Trail. Our chapter tries a late March field trip every year in the hope that we’ll see some early spring butterflies. Our target species include Falcate Orangetips and Zebra Swallowtails, although often we miss them this early. We’re more likely to see one or more of the four species of which at least some individuals spend the winter as adults, Mourning Cloak, American Snout, and the two anglewings, Eastern Comma and Question Mark, if its a mild day.

Some years the weather has been against us and we’ve had to cancel at the last minute. This time we had beautiful sunny weather that began cool but warmed nicely as our walk through the woods progressed. It wasn’t until we were returning to the trail head near noon that we finally saw butterflies. We were accompanied most of the way by what sounded like thousands of Upland Chorus Frogs singing loudly as we walked along the creek, and we found a small volcano-shaped den of some large species of crayfish next to a muddy tributary.

We saw three butterflies, a single and a pair. We knew that the butterflies were all in the anglewing group, but they were perched on trees too far away to get definitive looks at the spot patterns on their wings. At first, we thought that the first one was a Question Mark, and a few minutes later we saw two more butterflies together that seemed smaller and suggested Eastern Commas. We just couldn’t tell for sure through binoculars, though. Long distance photographs were the best we could do. When these were blown up on a computer screen later, all that were photographed turned out to be Eastern Commas, so we ended with a count of three butterflies but only one species. The attached photo is an enlargement of part of a distant shot of one of the butterflies.

Falcate Orangetips and Zebra Swallowtails were no-shows. We found one of the host plants for Falcate Orangetips, bittercress, in bloom, so the plants are ready when the butterflies emerge. Zebra Swallowtails use pawpaw trees as their caterpillar host, laying their eggs on the new emerging leaves. We found several patches of pawpaws, but none of the leaves had emerged. It may be a week or more before there is food for the swallowtail caterpillars.

We had participants from Forsyth, Guilford, Surry, and Wake Counties. It was a fun day with good companions, and a great way to officially begin the butterfly season!

Dennis

Dennis E. Burnette
Greensboro, NC 27410
deburnette@triad.rr.com

Eastern Comma

Eastern Comma