2014 Flight Season Master Calendar

Once again for 2014, I’ll be attempting to compile a mid-Atlantic-wide calendar of counts, field trips, walks, and other lep-related field activities for the 2014 flight season.  Please use the comment form below to let us know of additions or changes to the list, or email me at MDLepsOdes@gmail.com.  In addition to posted field trips, a number of us in the DC Metro area and around the region often plan impromptu “Lep Treks” when interesting butterflies or habitats pique our interest.  While most of these will be day trips originating from the DC area, some of them might be overnights to areas like Dolly Sods WV or Buzzard Swamp PA.  Unless otherwise noted, LepTreks are free although some of the areas we visit may charge an admission fee.  Overnight lodging and meals of course are on your own.

The philosophy behind our LepTreks is that we really lack a strong field trip program in the mid-Atlantic region, despite some very savvy lepsters interested in spending more time in the field.  As a group we’re more field naturalists than butterfly gardeners, and we’re committed to better understand some of the unique environments and landscapes in the mid-Atlantic and the butterflies they support.  Generally, they’re places that normally don’t have scheduled butterfly walks during the summer, nor are they easy quick checks for a last-minute drive by.  I’ll add notices here on LepLog of those kinds of easier trips, too, but the LepTreks generally are a little more ambitious, or explore unique habitats.  As much as possible, we’d like to use these trips to help flesh out Dick Smith’s Butterflies of Unknown Status Project.

If you’d like to volunteer to organize any of these trips, or a trip to one of your favorite places, email me at MDLepsOdes@gmail.com.   Check back regularly for updates!  And if you’re leading or know of dates for other lep activities, be sure to let me know.

LepTreks are informal affairs, usually impromptu walks or hunts for a particular species or in a particular unusual habitat.  They’re rather loosely organized by the person whose idea the trip is in the first place and may be more difficult terrain or access, or are a trip one of our members is making and for which s/he would be glad of company.  If you’re going to be out in the field on short notice, let us know so we can tag along!

Rules of the road: These aren’t collecting trips per se, but unless the regulations of where we are visiting don’t permit them participants are welcome to bring and carry nets for catch-and-release observation or scientific collecting.

Rain dates:  Unless noted otherwise, we don’t usually do rain dates.

Hours:  Day field trips are typically 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. with a short break for lunch.  Overnight trips usually begin at 10 a.m. Saturdays to allow folks who really don’t want to spend two nights on the road to drive out early that morning.  Participants are welcome to join one or both days, and there will be a group dinner on Saturday night and breakfast Sunday morning.  Participants are responsible for arranging their own overnight accommodations, although we can facilitate both shared hotel rooms and carpools here or through the various area listservs.

The field season usually begins in April (but a warm weekend in March might see us out looking for anglewings!) and ends in October (although 2011 had sulphurs flying well into December). And we could show up anywhere within 4-5 hours’ drive; the calendar contains listings from throughout the mid-Atlantic.

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Check back often as new events get loaded!

APR 26 [Berks Co Field Trip] PA:  Neversink Mountain.   10:00 a.m., Butterflies birds and botany. Meet at S.10th and South Street Reading. Park on South Street. This is a joint walk of the Mengel Natural History Society and the Baird Ornithological Club. Some butterflies fly only in early spring and this is one of the few County locations to see them. LEADERS: Karl Gardner, 610-987-3281, Ken Lebo, 610-856-1413, and Ryan  Woolwine, 610-777-2333.

APR 27 [ANS Field Trip] MD:  Hoyle’s Mill.  Spring Butterflies of Hoyle’s Mill Conservation Park.  Sunday, April 27 (11 am-3:30 pm) Members $24; nonmembers $34.  Hoyle’s Mill Conservation Park in upper Montgomery County, preserves the largest diabase bedrock habitat in Maryland, making it a rich area of both common and uncommon plants. These plants are caterpillar hosts and nectar resources for spring butterflies, such as the pipevine swallowtail and its more common cousins: falcate orangetip; olive hairstreak; Eastern comma; and several species of duskywing skippers. We’ll look for these species and their associated plant communities along a mostly flat dirt/gravel road in the Park. LEADERS: Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason; Stephanie.Mason@ANShome.org./Office #: 301-652-9188, Ext. 37..  Registration required, please visit http://www.audubonnaturalist.org/index.php/nature-programs/adults.

MAY 11 [Lecture and Hike] MD:  Soldiers Delight.  Dick Smith will present a short slide show on barrens butterflies and then lead the group for about two miles through the globally rare serpentine barrens ecosystem at Soldiers Delight to search for locally-occurring and serpentine endemic mid-spring butterflies such as the fragile Falcate Orangetip, the small and attractively bark-scalloped Eastern Pine Elfin, and the bluestem grass dependent Cobweb and Dusted Skippers. 1 pm – 4 pm. Meet at the Soldiers Delight Visitor Center. For more information, call (443) 778-4973 (office – weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) or (410) 997-7439 (home) (please call after 7:30 p.m.)  

MAY 18 [ANS Field Trip]  VA: Blue Mountain, near Linden.  Butterflies of Blue Mountain.  Full-day field trip.  Members $34; nonmembers $46. Blue Mountain is best known for its spectacular wildflower display earlier in the month at the Thompson Wildlife Management Area. We’ll search for the rich diversity of butterflies that can be found here at the lower elevation Lake Thompson. We’ll hope to find swallowtails, including the uncommon Appalachian Tiger Swallowtail; the Appalachian Azure and other blues; plus other species both common and uncommon. We’ll walk up to several miles, with some uphill and downhill over uneven terrain.  LEADERS: Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason; Stephanie.Mason@ANShome.org./Office #: 301-652-9188, Ext. 37..  Registration required, please visit http://www.audubonnaturalist.org/index.php/nature-programs/adults.

JUN 14 [ANS Field Trip] MD:  Eastern Neck NWR.  Search for early summer butterflies at Eastern Neck Wildlife Refuge, situated near the mouth of the Chester River and the Chesapeake Bay. We’ll explore up to a couple of miles in generally open and sunny terrain as we explore the meadow, woodland, and beach habitats of this natural area. We’ll hope to spot and ID a wide variety of species, all the while discussing their life histories and host plant relationships. LEADERS: Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason; Stephanie.Mason@ANShome.org./Office #: 301-652-9188, Ext. 37.  Registration required, please visit http://www.audubonnaturalist.org/index.php/nature-programs/adults.

JUN 24 [NABA Count] NJ:  Cumberland Co. This count has tallied between 31-51 species. Center = Cedarville, NJ. Count circle includes extensive salt marshes along the Delaware Bay from Hansey Creek and Dividing Creek/Maple Avenue/Turkey Point west to Sea Breeze, Bear Swamp, Natural Lands Trust fields, Bevan WMA, Union Lake WMA and western Millville, Newport Landing, Nantuxent WMA, Dix WMA, and Cohansey River from near Greenwich to Bridgeton. There will be a compilation get together (with dinner provided) around 6:30 p.m. at Pat & Clay Sutton’s home in Goshen with Pizza, salad, and good company following the count on Tuesday evening.  CONTACT:  Pat Sutton via e-mail at patclaysutton@comcast.net or home phone at (609) 465-3397 (be prepared to leave a message); cell phone (609-425-3434) will be on the day of the count but otherwise rarely used.

JUN 25 [NABA Count] NJ: Belleplain. This count has tallied between 38-52 species. Center = 2 miles sw of the town of Belleplain or 1/2 mile west of junction of Routes 347 and 679 (Mosslander Road). Count circle is partly in Cape May County and partly in Cumberland County and includes: CMBO’s Center in Goshen, Jakes Landing, Dennisville, Woodbine, Belleplain State Forest, western end of Tuckahoe River along Weatherby Road, abandoned cranberry bogs, s. corner of Peaslee WMA, e. corner of Bevan WMA, Port Elizabeth, Delaware Bay salt marshes between Dennis Creek and Bivalve/Port Norris, and the Maurice River from East Point to Laurel Lake.  CONTACT:  Teresa Knipper via cell phone at (609) 558-0582 or e-mail at teresa.knipper82@gmail.com

JUN 28 [NABA Count] MD: Western Montgomery County.  26th annual Count.  Circle includes agricultural lands and county/state parks,  with a mix of forest, field, and wetland habitats. CONTACT: Stephanie Mason, compiler.  Stephanie.Mason@ANShome.org.  Office #: 301-652-9188, Ext. 37.  Meet at the Black Hill Regional Park or McKee Beshers Wildlife Management Area at 9:00 am.  Facilities present at BHRP.  Contact compiler in advance, if possible.

JUL 4 [NABA Count] VA:  Maidens.  CONTACT:  Carolyn P. Henly, cphenly@comcast.net.

July 5  [NABA Count]  VA:  Island Ford.  15th year. 65 cumlative species. We survey wetlands, along the Shenandoah river, & the Skyline Drive. Long pants, water, snack,  boots, bug spray, & sunblock recommended. We will stop for a fast food lunch. We will meet at the Elkton, Va. Food Lion parking lot (in eastern Rockingham county) at 8:30am. There is a $3 fee to participate. Beginners are welcome. COMPILER:  Mike Smith at foresmiths@comcast.net; phone 540-298-1913.

JUL 12 [NABA Count] VA:  Reston.  9:30 am-1:00 pm, Walker Nature Center, 11450 Glade Drive, Reston VA 20191. CONTACT:  Katie Shaw, naturecenter@reston.org; 703-476-9689.  Organizer’s Note:  In advance of the count, people may also register for an introductory Butterfly ID class at the nature center on Thursday, July 10 from 7-8:30 PM. It is free for count participants.

JUL 12 [NABA Count] VA: Richmond.  Center = George Wythe High School, Richmond.  Count circle includes James River Park Main Section and Rocks to Bell Isle – Forest, Meadow and River Boulders; Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens; Maymont Park;·James River Park – Pony Pasture and Wetlands Section; Powhite Park- Granite Open Woods and Riverine Forest; Rockwood Park – Upland Creekside Forest and Meadow; Pump House Park  CONTACT: James Shelton, compiler.  James_Shelton32 at yaho dot com.  Mobile: 804-301-4102.  Meet at the James River Park Reedy Creek Entrance (http://jamesriverpark.org/) or make arrangements in advance at 10:00 am.  Facilities Present at the Park.

JUL 12 [NABA Count] MD: Prince George’s County. CENTER: Cheltenham, MD (Rt 301 & Frank Tippet Rd).  Rain Date: July 19.  Organizer’s Note:  We are looking for individuals experienced with NABA counts capable of accurate butterfly IDs and who can provide their own transport. Some areas have been severely neglected in recent years due to insufficient participants. Some locations we wish to get covered are: Cedarville State Park, Rosaryville State Park, Merkle Wildlife Sanctuary, Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary, parts of Upper Marlboro (around Schoolhouse Pond and the Equestrian Center/Show Place Arena), and outer areas of Patuxent River Park (not around the visitor center). If there any military personnel with access to Andrews Air Force Base who know of areas on base where butterflies might be found that would be welcomed too.  CONTACT: Clearwater Nature Center; Glenda Jordan, glenda.jordan@pgparks.com ( alternate: ClearwaterNatureCenter@gmail.com ).

JUL 12 [NABA Count]  VA: Bath County.  CONTACT:  Frank Boyle, ravenfrank@earthlink.net.

JUL 13 [NABA Count] VA:  Shenandoah National Park.  The count circle is near Luray, Va. We survey areas of the Park including Big Meadows and the Skyline Drive, and along the Shenandoah River. We will split into different groups in order to get the best coverage. Last year we had 45 species.  Long pants, water, lunch, boots, bug spray, & sunblock are recommended. There is a $3 fee to participate. Beginners are welcome. COMPILER:  Mike Smith at foresmiths@comcast.net; 540-298-1913.

JUL 15 [NABA Count] NJ: Cape May. Center=Rio Grande, NJ.  Count circle includes Cape May Point, Higbee Beach WMA, Cape May Migratory Bird Refuge, Cape Island Creek Preserve, Cox Hall Creek WMA, Cape May NWR fields along Delaware Bayshore, beachfront communities on Delaware Bay north to Reeds Beach, Delaware Bay and Atlantic Coast saltmarsh upland edge, electric power right-of-ways, many weedy roadsides, and private backyard habitat gardens. CONTACT: Michael O’Brien, compiler. tsweet@comcast.net.
JULY 19 [NABA Count] PA:  Heinz NWR at Tinicum PA 9AM to 2PM. 3rd Annual Count. The count will cover areas of the refuge located near Philadelphia Airport. Rain date July 20th. For more information contact count coordinator Cliff Hence; cwhenceiii@aol.com. NOTE no collecting permitted at the refuge.

JULY 19 [ANS Field Trip] MD:  Garrett Co.  Western Maryland Bogs, Butterflies and Birds.  Saturday July 19 1 pm – Monday  July 21 3 pm.  Focus on fritillaries, Bog Copper, and Northern Metalmark.  Leader:  Rick Borchelt.  CONTACT:  ANS Program Office,  301.652.9188.  Registration required [note:  trip full, waiting list]

AUG 2 [Berks Co PA Field Trip]  PA:  Near Lake Ontelaunee.  10:00 am.  This is a joint walk of the Mengel Natural History Society and the Baird Ornithological Club. Meet at Dam Breast on PA-73.  We will drive to nearby location. We often see 20 species on this walk. LEADERS: Ryan Woolwine, 610-777-2333, Ken Lebo, 610 856-1413, and Karl Gardner, 610-987-3281.

AUG 2 [NABA Count] VA: Loudon Co.  Sign up online at http://www.loudonwildlife.org/Butterfly.Count.htm or CONTACT Nicole Hamilton at nhamilton@loudonwildlide.org.

AUG 16 [NABA Count] DC:  District of Columbia.  Count circle is centered on the US National Arboretum  beginning at 9:30 a.m. and lasting until mid to late afternoon (the Arboretum closes at 5 p.m.), depending on heat and butterfly activity. Meet at 9:30 a.m. in the parking lot of the Arboretum Visitor Center near the R Street entrance. As one enters from R Street, the lot is to the left. Based on the number of participants, we may carpool from there to other locations, including possibly Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens.  No experience is necessary but the count is not recommended for small children (under age 10-12) given the expected heat, lots of sun and bugs, and tall, brambly vegetation.  There will be no fee for this count. However, if anyone wishes to make a voluntary contribution, it will be passed along to the North American Butterfly Association (NABA) to cover the costs of coordinating the counts and compiling the data. You may also sign up to receive a copy of NABA’s 2014 July 4th Count national report ($7 for members, $10 for non-members). Rain date is Aug. 17.  CONTACT: Tom Stock, altomomatic |AT| Verizon |DOT| net.

AUG 23 [Butterfly Walk] PA:  Heinz NWR at Tinicum located near the Philadelphia Airport. Meet 9 AM at the Rt 420 entrance to the refuge for a 2 or 3 hour walk to observe local butterflies. This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact leader Cliff Hence at cwhenceiii@aol.com. NOTE no collecting permitted at the refuge.

AUG 30 [Berks Co PA Field Trip]  PA:  Angelic Park.  10:00 am.  Our first walk at this location maintained by the Berks County Conservancy. Take PA-10 south from Lancaster Avenue 1-1/4 miles. The park entrance road is on the right at the big masonry sign for Alvernia University. Turn right and park at the first parking area on the right. LEADERS: Karl Gardner 610-987-3281, Ken Lebo 610-856-1413, and Ryan Woolwine 610-777-2333

AUG 30 [Event] MD:  Butterflies through Binoculars. 2-3 hours. Meet 9:30 AM at Elkhorn Garden Plots (Oakland Mills Rd opposite Dasher Ct). Enjoy searching for late-summer butterflies, and receive expert instruction on their identification. Easy walking in the garden plot and on paved paths near the right-of-way alongside open, flowery wet meadows and brushy hillsides. Bring close-focus binoculars to view nectaring behavior. Dick will also use net and jars to provide brief close-up examinations. Cancelled if raining or overcast. No facilities. CONTACT:  Dick Smith, 410-997-7439. (home, please call after 7:30 pm).

AUG 31 [Soldiers Delight Butterfly Hike] MD: Serpentine Barrens Late Summer Butterflies – Slide Show and Hike, Soldiers Delight NEA, 1-4pm.  Dick Smith will present a slide show *(handicap accessible) on barrens butterflies and then lead the group for about 2 miles along trails *(not handicap accessible) through the globally rare serpentine barrens ecosystem at Soldiers Delight. In addition to locally-occurring and serpentine-endemic late summer butterflies such as the attractive Leonard’s Skipper, we will examine and identify many native grasses and wildflowers seldom seen in abundance in other locations around Maryland. Close-focus binoculars are recommended, but butterfly net-and-release (with in-jar identification) will be conducted by the leader. Hike will be cancelled if raining or overcast, but slideshow will be presented regardless of weather status. Children under 12 should be accompanied by an adult. Meet at the Visitor Center. Cost: Free! Donations welcome. Registration is not required; CONTACT: (443) 778-4973 (office – weekdays, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) or (410) 997-7439 (home) (please call after 7:30 p.m.).

SEPT 20 [Butterfly Walk] PA:  Heinz NWR at Tinicum located near Philadelphia Airport. Meet 12 PM at the Cusano Visitors Center. BTW this event is in conjunction with the refuge’s Annual Cradle of Birding Festival. This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact leader Cliff Hence at cwhenceiii@aol.com. NOTE no collecting permitted at the refuge.

SEPT 21 [ANS Field Trip] VA:  Occoquan Wildlife Refuge.  A former military research station, the 644-acre Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge is located at the confluence of the Potomac and Occoquan Rivers south of Alexandria, VA. More than 60 butterfly species have been recorded among its wet meadows, expanses of native grasses, and extensive shoreline. We’ll explore a variety of habitats for late-season butterflies, such as Sleepy Orange, Buckeye, Cloudless Sulphur, and Monarch, among others. We’ll walk up to 3 miles in generally open and sunny terrain.  LEADERS: Dick Smith and Stephanie Mason.  CONTACT:  Stephanie.Mason@ANShome.org./Office #: 301-652-9188, Ext. 37.  Registration required, please visit http://www.audubonnaturalist.org/index.php/nature-programs/adults.

 

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