Oct 23 2007

AUTUMN BUTTERFLY

Published by at 7:51 PM under Butterfly

 Here it is the 23rd  of October, just 2 months away AUTUMN BUTTERFLYfrom the shortest day of the year. I mowed the lawn for the last time this season. The day was warm after a period of cool wet weather. I pulled up a lawn chair for a little break after chasing the lawn-mower. While sipping a cool “Coke” I happened to notice some activity around the oak tree by the creek. It seems a little late in the season but there were butterflies flitting about the yard and they were congregating on the trunk of the tree. I had to investigate. I counted a minimum of 25 individual butterflies of 3 different species. I limbered up the old Kodak and fired away. The accompanying photo is one of several taken on this occasion.

The butterflies were attracted to the sap-wells in the tree made by a resident Red-naped Sapsucker (a woodpecker). Sap-wells are holes in the bark of trees. Sap ooze from these holes and the sapsucker drinks this sap as do many other critters including butterflies. Hummingbirds have been observed visiting this handout. The sapsucker also gets protein here by catching insects that are attracted to this food source. Usually there are several sap-wells arranged in a horizontal line. Sometimes there are several rows of these wells and make a pattern like a cribbage board.

Look for the story behind photo-ops.

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