I took off for the Eastern Shore yesterday, hoping to pick up Frosted Elfin on the colonies of lupine in The Nature Conservancy’s Nassawango Creek Preserve and environs. I’d been there two weeks ago — the same time we had them last year in this location — and the buds were beginning to shoot up. Given that lupine-feeding Frosted Elfins (there is an ecotype that feeds on wild indigo) feed on flower buds and developing seed capsules, I figured they would be in flight by now. No such luck — it’s been very cool and windy on the Eastern Shore owing to the Atlantic high pressure system that’s been in place for what seems like weeks.
Even though the weather yesterday along the Nassawango was pretty much perfect for elfin watching, they appear not to have emerged yet. The flower racemes were just beginning to flower — two or three open flowers at most on the most advanced stalks. And no elfins.
Best sighting of the day was of Denise Gibbs, who also showed up to check out the same lupines, and sent me on a welcome but ultimately unsuccessful chase for a mystery snake along the Paul Leifer Trail.