Sunday, October 10, 2010

Other butterflies

In the magical month of September I also saw many other species of butterflies at the State Park in the Point, my yard and around Cape May County.

Common Buckeye Butterflies

Also in Cape May Point by the hundreds were Common Buckeye butterflies. This was another site I'd never seen before as was true with most of the people I talked with when we talked butterflies. Had the hot, dry summer contirbuted to the abundence of butterflies along with all of the psecies being seen? I don't know and no one I talked to could really say for sure. I did find caterpillars for the Common Buckeye on Gerardia along the first path in the park. I had fun pointing out the caterpillars to some of the children that were there with their parents.


As I said there were Monarchs all over Cape May Point and actually the county was alive with them. There was a Monarch tagging demonstration that afternoon. The Monarch project tags the butterfly for about a month in the fall at the State Park. I thought it would be a great day to see the demo and find out about the project as I grew milkweed and "hosted" a few Monarch caterpillars this summer. Next year I plan to plant more milkweed and host some more Monarch caterpillars.

Monarch migration

September was a magical month in Cape May Point! The Monarch butterflies usually migrate through the beginning of October but this year the "big" migration took place 2 weeks earlier in mid September. I was working on Saturday 9/18 and when I got home that evening I read the Cape May Bird Observatory blog enteries for the day about the Monarch watch. The estimate was that they were 1600 monarchs per minute flying around the Point. The blog mentioned they were roosting overnight at several sites and expected to fly off to Delaware on Sunday if the winds were right. After all the little butterfly has to fly across the Delaware Bay which is a distance of 17 miles. Well, I knew where I wanted to be on Sunday morning. I sure didn't want to be at work so I called and asked to be cancelled - not put on call - cancelled. So I am up and getting dressed the next morning at about 6AM when the phone rings. What GREAT news -I'm cancelled and can go play all day, taking pictures and marveling at Mother Nature miracles. Over I went to the point to find the roosts. They were AWESOME! Then off to the Hawk Watch platform where at about 8:30 we start seeing butterflies everywhere - over the beach, the dunes, in the trees, on the flowers and when the winds shifted off they went flying over the Delaware Bay until they were tiny specs and then you couldn't see them anymore. About 1 1/2 hrs later we heard when they started arriving and flying past a Hawk watch platform in Delaware. Never have I seen anything like this. Words can not really describe the feeling you had but it made you glad to be alive to witness it.

more Wrap-A-Smile quilts

Wrap-A-Smile quilts

Gosh, the month of September went by in a flash. I worked and played. When I was playing I was out birding and butterflying taking pictures of both with some dragonflies thrown in also. The Monarch migration mid September was unlike anything I have seen in years. I am told 1999 had a great migration but truely I don't remember that one. Plus I spent a good bit of time making quilts and quilting the quilt tops. I think my total of charity quilts made for 2010 stands at 23 quilts. I would like to send the 10 tops here that are done up to Terry in Maine soon. I have 2 more to quilt but I took my Bernina 200 in for service and am waiting to pick it up. I find that the larger quilts are easier to quilt on it. I think I would like to make at least 5more quilts this year. Now a goal for 2011 how many quilt tops will I be able to make and quilt. I was thinking 2 per month but maybe I'll need to up that so I beat this years numbers. Let me think.. is 30 doable? Not sure but all I can do is try. I have been trying to use some of my Australian fabrics in the tops. Many of the tops are strip pieced and very simple but a child in need won't care about the complexity of the patterns. Here are some pictures.