Looking back, this was one of the best summers of my life. To begin with, it was the earliest spring in my fifty years of record keeping, with emergent butterflies flying in February, and a strong flight through March. Then the huge May freeze!
Then, red tailed hawks nesting in the back yard. I never imagined that.
Then, other birds, both on the mountain and in the garden.
And mothing! I had the pleasure of collecting moths in several areas, some new to me: Blodgett Peak Open Space, Ute Valley Park, Bluestem Prairie Open Space, Rock Creek Canyon, and Baculite Mesa. Keeping track of all those moths isn’t easy. I added 37 new records for the Pikes Peak Region, bringing my current total to 2073 species.
And the garden OMG, what a year for the flowers!
And the July rains!
I heard that it was the wettest July on record. So, up came the mushrooms. We found about 40 species on one hike in Bear Creek.
And July on Shelf Road, the amazing rabbit bot fly!
And rare butterflies. The third record of Nymphalis californica and the fourth record of Adelpha eulalia in El Paso County.
Plus many new records of the butterflies like the pigmy blue, Brephidium exile (photo by Tim Leppek), which reminds me of Eric Eaton and all the new friends I found on the Arthropods Colorado Facebook Group. That’s been a load of fun. (What will we do in the winter?)
So it was an amazing summer. I already have seasonal affective disorder from the 7:30 twilight. I can’t wait until spring.