Road Work Ahead: A Bad Sign

P1060484Probably the last sign you want to see on your way to a favorite butterfly spot is “Road Work Ahead.”

So I was dismayed when I stopped by a regular haunt for hairstreaks near my house today after work and ran smack into this sign along the local trail there.  It’s in a fringe of woods along Northeast Branch, bordered by some fallow fields that are part of the University of Maryland’s M-Square Technology Park.  Walter Gould has been good about keeping us apprised every year when a regular colony of Banded Hairstreaks shows up, and we’ve then often seen both Striped Hairstreak and Coral Hairstreak in the dogbane and butterfly milkweed in the field.

This “Road Work” area signaled that the glade that formerly supported masses of wingstem and a healthy population of Silvery Checkerspots is now a gravel parking area and the dogbane patch is part of new road construction into the fields.

The former Silvery Checkerspot glade.  I've had up to 70 in this one glade alone.

The former Silvery Checkerspot glade. I’ve had up to 70 in this one glade alone.

Needless to say, no hairstreaks today.  Or probably ever again in the fields, which now seem destined for final development.  I did find one tattered Silvery Checkerspot hanging out on some trailside white clover.

Silvery Checkerspot on white clover along Northeast Branch in College Park [2015 June 11, photo by REB]

Silvery Checkerspot on white clover along Northeast Branch in College Park [2015 June 11, photo by REB]

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