Thursday, May 3, 2018

Spring is here

After having snow just a couple weeks ago, spring has taken off. Ephemeral wildflowers are all in bloom. yesterday I was out and saw trout lilies (interestingly enough, I only ever saw the white ones back in Minnesota/ Wisconsin, whereas here in Michigan, I have only seen yellow) hepatica, spring beauty, dutchmans breeches, waterleaf, and wild leeks (ramps). I also saw may apples and skunk cabbage popping up.

Butterfly season appears to be starting too. It will still be a while before monarchs return and silkmoths and swallowtails hatch. But I saw viceroy caterpillars out of their hibernacula, had some commas and red admirals in my butterfly trap, and saw lots of little webs of eastern tent caterpillars. These annoy people, but are actually native and seldom kill trees as they mature in plenty of time for trees to leaf back out after being defoliated by the little buggers.
Eastern tent caterpillar

Viceroy caterpillar

Skunk cabbage and May apples

Hepatica