Early Butterflies at National Arbo

2017MAR9_DC-USNA White M 2

White-M Hairstreak Parrhasius m album (Boisduval & Leconte, 1833). Fresh in the wooded Fern Valley section of the US National Arboretum [photo by REB]

I had a chance to stop by the National Arbo in DC after a dental appt this morning; a good selection of early butterflies on the wing:

1 WHITE-M HAIRSTREAK (pristine, knock-out Morpho blue; personal early record for me.  Fern Valley)

6 Summer (Spring brood) Azure (mostly investigating the emerging buds of highbush blueberry in Fern Valley)

6 Small (Cabbage) Whites

1 Orange Sulphur
5 Eastern Commas

1 Mourning Cloak (Fern Valley)

Air temperature in the low 70sF.

That’s the good news.  The less good news is that the former butterfly garden has been whittled down yet again to make room for asparagus beds (more mission creep from the Washington Youth Garden).  At this point, the size of the butterfly garden and its general disrepair suggest that it is too small and too poorly managed to be a useful butterfly watching resource going forward.  A huge new pavilion has gone up where the shed used to be; the construction for this building is why all the buddleia were removed (to make room for construction equipment).

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