I’m happy to report we’ve just received the official blessings of the North American Butterfly Association to host a new annual count centered in Green Ridge State Forest, Maryland.
I say “new” but in fact GRSF is one of our iconic butterfly locations: Olympia Marble and Silvery Blue in the spring; Appalachian Tiger and Giant Swallowtails, plus Hoary Edge, in early summer; Northern Metalmark in midsummer. Tortoiseshells and White Admirals have been known to turn up as well.
And there have been systematic count efforts here before, notably Bob Ringler’s counts in eastern Allegany Co. from 1995-2006.
We hope this will become a regular annual NABA count. This year the count will be July 10 (rain date July 11) in hopes of catching the metalmark flight. The circle was constructed to capture a diversity of butterfly habitats, from shale barrens to mature forest to ridgetop meadows to Potomac River frontage. Plus, it’s an easy day trip from most central MD, southern PA, northern VA, and eastern WV locations.
I’ll be establishing sectors and soliciting volunteers for these sectors in April/May so we can have a good plan of action. We’ll play by ear whether we’re safe to do a tally rally afterwards at one of the local restaurants, or at the picnic tables at the GRSF visitor center.