I spent a fab weekend in my favorite part of Ohio, Adams and Scioto counties. You can toss a rock into Kentucky from the southern lip of these counties, which are separated from the Bluegrass State by the Ohio River.
We had a major botanical and whatever else we see foray yesterday in Adams County, and saw plenty. I returned with well over 500 photos on my card, and some are keepers. Some extraordinary botanical spectacles were encountered, and I'll share some pics later.
Janet Creamer came down today, and we poked around Shawnee State Forest and adjacent Adams County. More good finds were made, and I'll share my favorite below.
This is a Grapevine Epimenis, Psychomorpha epimenis. Looks like a butterfly, and is often a stumper for people who think that it is and become perplexed when they can't find it in their butterfly guides. It's actually a showy daytime flying moth, in the owlet moth family. Their larvae eat things in the Vitaceae, or grape family, as you may have guessed by the name.
I like these moths a lot, but it wasn't my favorite of the day. After burning up quite a few pixels on the thing, I had turned and was walking elsewhere when Janet began blubbering insensibly. I figured this could mean but one thing, and whirled around to find a tiny gem of a butterfly staring me in the face - the primary reason that I had gone to this Adams County backwater.
Bingo! While we were focused on the moth, a Juniper Hairstreak, Callophrys gryneus, had flown in nearby and begun lapping up minerals. These nickel-sized little devils have eluded me ever since I became interested in butterflies, so it was quite the thrill to finally catch up to one. Mark Zloba put me onto this site - thank you Mark! - and I had looked here before, but it was always raining or otherwise unsuitable for butterflying.
Juniper Hairstreaks are somewhat rare and local in Ohio, and Adams County is probably their epicenter. You'd think they would be all over the place down there, given the abundance of Red Cedar, Juniperus virginiana, which is their host plant.