Rick and Tom, often accompanied by their fellow lep enthusiast Beth Johnson, traveled far and wide across the State, both together and solo, and on the way to reaching their goal encountered poisonous snakes, violent storms, debilitating heat and chilly mountain air, lepless days, obstreperous State troopers, swarms of biting flies, fog, drizzle . . . so many obstacles . . . and yet somehow managed to enjoy just about every minute of every day they spent in the field. And they rarely if ever had a bad meal anywhere along the way. Their “Lep Lunches” ranged from barbeque to fish tacos to crab cakes and crab soup to delicious steaks to refreshing sno-cones. Maryland, they discovered, has no shortage of good food!
Lord only knows how many miles they collectively logged – but their travels took them to all but a few of Maryland’s counties, from cranberry bogs in Garrett County to swamp woodlands in Worcester County, from serpentine barrens in Baltimore County to manicured gardens in the District of Columbia, from the tidal creeks of Charles County to the shale scree slopes of Allegany County, from tame suburbia to Maryland’s wildest corners. They covered it all, and of the State’s roughly 116 resident species, Rick found 105 and Tom found 102. And then they finished off their year with a smooth single malt scotch.
It has been about two years since this mad MD100 quest began. Looking back at the records on this blog, readers can track Rick and Tom’s progress. Tom has taken these tallies one step further and put together a narrative of the year, illustrated with lists of butterflies from every field excursion he made. That narrative is now available here on Lep Log. Read and enjoy, but be forewarned that you may be bit just as hard as he was and end up knee deep in a bog looking for some rare marsh skipper with a thick cloud of gnats around your head, wondering how you could be any happier.
Read Tom’s account of our 2013 MD100 Big Year, and make your own plans for 2015!