June 12, 1999
The Butterfly Institute traveled to Gill Massachusetts led by Institute coordinator Dave Small and Montague naturalist Mark Fairbrother. The group made its first stop at a farmers wet meadow. The first of two Milbert’s Tortoiseshells and Tiger Swallowtail were observed on the road edge as were Common Ringlet, Monarch, Pearl Crescent, and Silver-spotted Skipper.
Entering the meadow the group concentrated on the variety close winged Skippers making their first appearance of the season. With colorful names like Tawny Edged, Long Dash, Hobomok, Peck’s, European, and Least these small orange and black butterflies can be an identification challenge. The group
Also in the meadow were a White Admiral, European Cabbage White, Orange Sulphur, Clouded Sulphur, Wild Indigo Duskywing, Eastern tailed-Blue, Viceroy, American Copper, and Silver-bordered Fritillary.
Traveling to the power lines off Adams Road the group observed butterflies utilizing this very different Habitat type. Butterflies may often be observed taking advantage of the vegetation management of utility right of ways. These right of ways, provide forest openings with plants and wildflowers needed for many species of birds and butterflies in their life cycle. Aphrodite, Hoary Edge, American lady, Little Wood Satyr, Northern Cloudywing and a beautiful Banded Hairstreak were added to the morning’s list.
The next field trip will be Saturday June 19th with veteran butterfly enthusiast Tom Dodd of Upton. Any one interested in joining the group, as we explore the MDC Ware River Watershed, should meet at 10 am at the parking lot overlooking Barre Falls Dam in Hubbardston. Participants are asked to bring a lunch, extra water, and sunscreen.