Shallow Ford NA, Alamance Co, NC – Aug. 23, 2014

8/23/14 Report Shallow Ford NA

Nine of us participated in the Carolina Butterfly Society field trip to Shallow Ford Natural Area in northern Alamance County, NC, on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014. This was a joint trip with the Triad Chapter of the NC Native Plant Society. In addition to exploring part of the park, we also visited the private residence of one of the participants who kindly provided lunch for the group.

The morning was overcast, the wind calm, and it was warm and humid. Judging by the wet roads several places in the vicinity, there were showers that popped up all around us. However, we didn’t have any rain during our walk from 9:30 to 12:15.

We weren’t expecting to see a lot of butterflies due to the cloudy weather and the low number of butterflies that have occurred throughout eastern North Carolina all summer, so we weren’t surprised at the low count. We slowly walked along a trail that traversed dense woodlands before coming out into a large meadow. The woodland trail proved to be excellent for mushrooms; there were at least a dozen species, many quite colorful.

We found that much of the meadow had been mowed within the last two weeks, so there were few nectar sources. However, we spotted a fresh looking female Monarch busily laying eggs on the 10” to 12” Common Milkweed that had resprouted. We also saw an azure species flying by and a perched Pearl Crescent. We reentered the woods and continued along a creek back to the parking lot where we saw a male Zabulon Skipper on Silphium. At the nearby private residence we saw a Carolina Satyr and the best butterfly of the day, a Little Yellow.

Here is our list:

Little Yellow 1
Azure sp. 1
Pearl Crescent 1
Carolina Satyr 1
Zabulon Skipper 1

Dennis E. Burnette
7 Brownstone Lane
Greensboro, NC 27410
(336) 299-4342