Two meters

And twenty minutes at one spot before lunch. That is how slow I was. All these photos are in an area of about two meters.

First Gracie chooses her spot for stopping!

Then my first stop was at this Prairie Agalinis (Agalinis heterophylla)!

Here is the side view. So in this angle, you can see that this species of Agalinis is sessile or close to the stem.

Further down the stem pass the spider web, the brown aphids were busy!

Since I have started looking at them closer, I have come to think they are cute. Their siphunculi (dorsal tubes on the aphid’s abdomen) is why I think this. For some species it is a mean of defense. Some secrete a waxy solution that may stop a predator. Also a pheromone is released to warn their buddies of the danger. I just love it!

Next up is a small caterpillar, Common Buckeye caterpillar!

Not far from the above cat, was this larger Common Buckeye caterpillar.

Top view of the same Common Buckeye caterpillar from above. This species has multiple host plants including the Prairie Agalinis.

The metallic blue is awesome!

This was a middle size I found. As you can see the pattern and the colors are not exactly the same.

A close up of the Agalinis flower.

As I sat quietly looking for the cats, the Southern Spreadwing (Lestes australis) lighted near me.

It was very cooperative!

Oh boy a skipper landed near me as well!

I got the angle needed for identification! It is the Clouded Skipper (Lerema accius)!

A small Yellow-striped Armyworm caterpillar (Spodoptera ornithogalli) was chowing down.

Last but not least as I turned around to see what Gracie was doing, a Viceroy (Limenitis archippus) flew in! They look similar to the Monarch. However, the larvae do not feed on milkweed. Instead their host plants includes willows, cottonwoods, and Prunus.

So look for the postmedian black band across the hind wing for an easy identification.

Finally, (just to let you know) Gracie kept cool the whole time!

Opinion: In defense of armyworms. They aren’t exactly the scourges of lawns.

Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. The spines on the buckeye cat sure look wicked. And now i need to try to get better look at what ive been thinking are monarchs.

    1. Judy and Claire, I have been seeing Monarchs all summer. There has been no up tick in the numbers here at my house as of yet. However, for the pass couple of years with such low numbers, it is hard to tell for me.

  2. Your butterflies and dragonflies are so cooperative. I have a very hard time getting good photos of the ones in my yard to post on iNaturalist. Congrats!

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