Elfins at Patuxent Wildlife Refuge

Eastern Pine Elfin on highbush blueberry

Eastern Pine Elfin on highbush blueberry

Elfins have begun flying in the DC Metro area within the past week or so, and one of my favorite elfin haunts is the powerline right-of-way at the east end of Cash Lake on the National Wildlife Research Refuge Visitor Center tract near Laurel, MD.  Under the powerlines here, the habitat has been managed to keep Virginia pine and hardwoods from taking over, allowing a robust growth of highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) and shadbush (Amelanchier sp.) to flourish.  Today, under partly sunny skies in the mid-60’s with a breeze, the blueberry was in bloom and attracting both Henry’s and Eastern Pine Elfin.  On the way around Cash Lake, at Goose Pond, Falcate Orangetips (both sexes) were also in flight, and Grapevine Epimenis was also working the blueberry flowers today.

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