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Butterflies' Last Fling - Phil's Rambling Rants
October 6th, 2007
05:11 pm

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Butterflies' Last Fling
It was forecast to be nasty hot today, so I decided to try to get over to Kennekuk as early as I could, and park in a different spot so I'd hit the sunniest and most boring part of the loop around the lake before it got too hot.  Unfortunately, by the time I actually got there, it was about 9:30, and it was already pretty warm.  But I still wanted to walk, so off I went.  Perhaps it's a state-dependent thing, but that first part of the loop often seemed unfamiliar, because although I've walked it several times in the last couple of months, it's been late in the afternoon when I'm tired, rather than in the morning when I'm fresh.

Presumably because of the heat, the ~7.5 miles took a lot out of me.  I drank most of a quart of water and 20 oz. of Gatorade, which wasn't enough.  But why my feet were sorer by the end of the loop than they've been in months I don't really understand.

The main thing I saw and enjoyed today was butterflies.  Probably there weren't really more butterflies than on a normal summer day, but I was noticing them more because I'm thinking that it's October (despite feeling like late July); frost and the end of the butterfly season aren't far away.  There were several anglewings with their orange colors glowing, a mourning cloak that toyed with me for minutes as I tried to get close enough for a decent picture, a truly tiny species, about 1 cm. (including wings), and a species that's quite common in the meadows at Kennekuk, but don't believe I see often anywhere else, which has three sets of spots on its wings that look like eyes.  The last butterfly is strikingly beautiful, but (like many butterflies) not very cooperative about being photographed.

Birds seemed more in evidence than a few weeks ago.  There were a lot of warblers hopping around, but the few that let me see anything that I could use as identifying marks all seemed to be yellow-rumped.  Or at least they had yellow patches on their rumps.  There was either one flock of a couple thousand grackles that followed me around, or several such flocks.  The geese are forming flocks too.  The great blue heron with the exceptionally loud squawk put in a couple more appearances.  I saw what I think was a cormorant flying over the lake.

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