Sunday, August 2, 2009

Huckleberrying and butterflies

On Friday and Saturday I went huckleberrying and hunting for better patches of huckleberries. I found some great patches in the Moody Creek/Heise area on Friday, but on Saturday I headed to Island Park to pick a patch of big berries I found on Wednesday.
On the way across Osbourne Bridge the sun was just rising coloring the fog and the trees appeared like ghosts in the fog. I had to stop and get a picture of the beautiful scene.

After picking two gallons of huckleberries, making five gallons for the week, I noticed a lot of butterflies amoung the flowers along the trail as I walked out. As I watched a female sulphur (pink edges of the wings) feeding on a Yarrow blossum, a male attached itself to her. After flying away they finally roosted on a pine tree where other sulphur males attempted to join the game.
There was a major migration of Fritillaries landing on the clover, goldenrod and yarrow plants along the way. This was a beautiful light colored one with darker one along the way. This was the lightest one I saw.

It was interesting to watch the the different butterflies feeding on the flowers. I noticed several times as they fed, bees and flies would actually attack them - always from behind. I was able to get several picturs of bees hitting the butterflies, sometimes knocking off part of their wings. I tried to find out, but I could not find any material why the bees would do that. Interesting insect behavior.

When I got to a patch of Fireweed, I found a host of bumblebees and Swallowtail butterflies feeding on them. All were so heavy that they would bend the flowers over so they were in the shade - not good for pictures. I got lucky and got this picture of the bumblebee just as it was lifting off the flower.
Just another wonderful day in the life of the school teacher who will start punishing students in four weeks. Wild In Idaho will have other great things to write about!!!! Stay posted.


troutbirder said...

Very enjoyable posts again. I love the wildflower posts but actually anything to do with nature - flyfishing, my GSD, gardening, Yellowston, etc.
Thanks for visiting Troutbirder II - I'll mention my nature blog (Troutbirder) can be located in my profile. Also am a retired social studies-history teacher.

Jann E. said...

Bill, another nice post; I love that early morning fog photo. I've been seeing a lot of butterflies, bees, and other flying bugs too in recent days. You got some great shots of those as well.

You'd asked at my blog...I don't use a tripod, I'm just getting used to holding the 300mm lens more steady! It's taken some time to get used to. Having the anti-shake feature helps!

Janie said...

Great photo of the bee flying in to assault the butterfly. That is strange behavior. If you find out any more about it, please let us know. Sounds like quite a successful huckleberry harvest.