Howard County Fall Bird Count
Saturday, September 16 ALL DAY
To count butterflies instead, contact Linda Hunt.
Howard County Butterfly Count
Sunday, September 24 11:00 am – 2:00 pm Western Regional Park
Register with leader: Sue Muller. Paved paths. Facilities available.
Butterflies are out in numbers, enhanced by a new flight of the ubiquitous Sachem skippers. Kevin and Karen Heffernan and friends have discovered more hackberry trees, and Hackberry Emperor butterflies, at Mt. Pleasant. Kudos to Bonnie Ott for finding this wonderful Hackberry Emperor chrysalis at Mt. Pleasant. Kathy Litzinger reports more sightings of Tawny Emperor (as she nurtures her many Tawny caterpillars) and Broad-winged Skipper. Zebra Swallowtail and Pipevine Swallowtail, always exciting to see, and more Cloudless Sulphur, Sleepy Orange and Monarch sightings continue from around the county. And keep an eye out for caterpillars and chrysalis wherever there are host plants. My 5 Maryland Senna plants have at least a dozen big fat Cloudless Sulphur caterpillars and have also been popping out 1 or 2 Sleepy Orange almost daily, and gardeners are reporting all stages of Black Swallowtails and Monarchs.
To see numbers of butterflies, visit Mt. Pleasant/Howard County Conservancy (community garden plots & other areas), Robinson Nature Center and Elkhorn Community Garden Plots and Meadow. At the butterfly meadow at Centennial and Daisy Meadow at the intersection Daisy and Union Chapel roads, partridge pea, butterflyweed (A. tuberosa) and other flowers are blooming, attracting lots of butterflies. Along the Patuxent Branch Trail between the Guilford Rd. parking area and Lake Elkhorn, and other areas in the county, look for Boneset (white flowers) and Lespedeza (small white flowers) and goldenrod (yellow flowers) which are about to bloom. These seem to be especially attractive to White M Hairstreak as well as Gray Hairstreak and Red-banded Hairstreak. Still no more reports of the Ocola skipper, a wonderful dark brown skipper with looooooooooooong wings, totally different silhouette than our other skippers.
If you are interested in Monarch Tag & Release, Pam Spencer and the Master Gardeners have tagging events every Wednesday at 10:00 am from now until October 25 at the Demo Garden at the Baltimore County Agricultural Center, 1114 Shawan Rd., Cockeysville, 21030. This is a free event but cancelled if raining or cold weather. Call 410-887-8090 for more information.