My life is about living with nature – here you can live it with me!

bugs

Todays Butterflies

Gray Comma
Gray Comma

I had lots of butterflies flying around today. Gray Comma (CHECK), Tiger Swallowtail (CHECK), Juvenal Dusywing (CHECK) . . . . all first of the years today. The Clouded Sulphur, West Virginia White, Eastern Comma and Spring Azure have been seen previously.
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West Virginia White

West Virginia White on my finger
West Virginia White on finger

Saw my first of the year West Virginia Whites (CHECK) flying around today. I just love these guys!
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Butterflies Courtship and Nest Building

Mourning Cloak
Mourning Cloak

Temperatures reached in the 60’s yesterday with my first butterfly of the year “Mourning Cloak” (CHECK), courtship displays from Red-shouldered Hawks, and American Crows gathering nesting material. True signs that spring has finally arrived.
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Deformed Antler

White-tailed Deer (strange antler)
White-tailed Deer

Each spring the male White-tailed Deer will grow a new set of antlers and throughout the summer the antlers will continue to get larger depending on the bucks diet. By fall the highly vascular tissue (Velvet) will dry up and peel off leaving a hard bone behind. The remaining velvet will be removed by the deer rubbing his antlers on a small tree (deer rub). This all happens because of the bucks’ testosterone levels increasing in preparations for the rutting season. By late December early January the buck will loose his antlers and the whole process will repeat itself the following spring.
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Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak
Mourning Cloak on my hand!

Sometimes they let me pick them up . . . sometimes they fly away!
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Mourning Cloak

Mourning Cloak
Mourning Cloak

Just found a Mourning Cloak who let me pick it up with my finger! I just love seeing Mother Nature up close!
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Allegany Nature Pilgrimage 2009

Old Growth Walk
Old Growth Walk (Photo by Patty)

Last weekend the 51st annual Allegany Nature Pilgrimage was held in Allegany State Park. This is my 14th year attending the pilgrimage and my 11th year as a trip leader. The Allegany Nature Pilgrimage was started by Gilbert Burgeson (aka Gib) who traveled to Tennesee to visit their daughter. While in Tennessee he attended the Smokey Mountain Wildflower Pilgrimage and said, “Why can’t we have a pilgrimage? Why not at Allegany Park?”! Over the past 51 years the organization still frequently has visitors from all over the United States, Canada and other Countries to attend the Pilgrimage weekend. (more…)