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Ouch, it’s almost midnight, so I better put something up soon. I’ve been going through my photos and trying to get some sort of identification on some of the insects and flowers I saw. I’m no naturalist, so if I’ve misidentified anything, please let me know.

Agalinis acuta, also known as Sandplain Gerardia, is a rare flower.

Agalinis acuta, also known as Sandplain Gerardia, is a rare flower.

This is a Red-banded Hairstreak.

This is a Red-banded Hairstreak.

One of the many little brownish skippers. I find them hard to identify, but I have tentative identified this one as a Zabulon Skipper.

One of the many little brownish skippers. I find them hard to identify, but I have tentative identified this one as a Zabulon Skipper.

A mantid.

A mantid.

partridge pea

partridge pea

This is a Pearl Crescent. There were dozens of these butterflies in one spot.

This is a Pearl Crescent. There were dozens of these butterflies in one spot.

A Blue-fronted Dancer.

A Blue-fronted Dancer.

I got so many photos, so I guess I might as well stop here. If you want to see more, I just posted some others on my French language blog.

Yesterday, I took a trip to a really remarkable place. About a year or so ago, when I was doing a bunch of research on native plants and wildflowers, I saw quite a few references to a place called “Soldier’s Delight.” It’s nearby, located in Baltimore County. A landscape of a stream on a beautiful, sunny day. To the left, there is a field of grasses. To the right are some pines. A small butterfly is in the foreground. A patch of woods can be seen in the distance.

The it once was part of “the Great Maryland Barrens”, a unique ecosystem of which only 5% remains. Most of the area is in a state wildlife reserve called Soldier’s Delight. Much of the soil in the area is made up of a rock called serpentine. Serpentine soil is low in nutrients. While much of the east coast is deciduous woodlands, the Maryland Barrens were a unique grassland and supports correspondingly unique flora and fauna, specifically insects, some of which are found no where else.

When we arrive, a naturalist was showing beautiful Turkey Vulture. I’ll have to write more about vultures one day. In the meantime, here’s a portrait of the lady.

A twenty five year old female turkey vulture.

Anyone who’s interested in butterflies should take a trip there. It was far more rewarding than I expected.

Okay, the WordPress platform is acting buggy again, and I don’t have the time to deal with it. So I’m just going hope this will publish.

For those of you who have seen a few of my Friday posts, the squirrels Smudge and Tripod have been surviving the heat reasonably well. The bird bath has been at least as popular as the bird feeder. Bad Bunny was last seen munching some weeds that I was going to tear up after the heat wave passed. Right now, we have three lobelia plants, two of which have buds but the top of the third has been neatly chopped off. I have pictures of them all, but for today I decided to focus on the bugs. In front of my sister’s house there are several butterfly bushes and a row of some other bushes whose name I don’t know. The flowers on these other bushes are a yellowish-green and not especially pretty, at least to my human eyes. However, they must be especially excellent nectar producers because the bushes, when they are in bloom, are just teaming with bees, wasps, flies and butterflies.

A tiger swallowtail butterfly on a butterfly bush.

It was the sight of this Tiger Swallowtail through the window that drew me outside into the heat.

A fuzzy image of a wasp.

It was so humid, I had to keep wiping off my lens, which kept clouding up.

The head of a baldfaced hornet with its distintive markings which resemble a skull.

After I wiped off the lens, I was able to get some good shots of a baldfaced hornet.

The body of the baldfaced wasp.

Although the common name is “baldfaced hornet,” it is actually a wasp.

A silver spotted skipper butterfly on a butterfly bush.

There were at least a dozen of these silver spotted skippers.

A winged insect with a fuzzy, stout body on a butterfly bush.

I have not yet identified this bee-like creature.

A portion of the hindwings of a spicebush butterfly.

I had the wrong lens on my camera to capture the large Spicebush butterfly.

A spicebush butterfly

As a result, I wound up with some interesting, although accidental, images.

The underside of a spicebush butterfly.

I love how you can see what appears to be pollen clinging to the underside of the butterfly.

A honeybee

I’ve seen few honeybees than in years past. Sadly, we lost a hive over the winter.

A small brown butterfly which I have tentatively identified as a Dun Skipper. If anyone is more certain, please let me know.

A small brown butterfly which I have tentatively identified as a Dun Skipper. If anyone is more certain, please let me know.

Bubmble bee on milkweed.

If the European honeybees seem to be struggling, our native bumbles were out in full force.

Some sort of skipper butterfly on a leaf.

Another difficult to identify skipper.