ANS 2018 Foray Skipper Boot Camp

I’m stashing all our materials here for ease of access.


UPDATE 9/6
We’ve decided (weather permitting) to visit Soldiers Delight in Owings Mills first (beginning at 10 am) and end up eating lunch and exploring the community gardens at the Howard Co Conservancy Mt. Pleasant site in the afternoon.
Here are the slides from tonight’s Hogwarts for Hesperiids discussion:
And here are the full directions to our Saturday locations:
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[posted 2018 Sept 1]
Happy September, everyone!
I hope you all are excited for next week’s skipper boot camp and field trip.  I’ve put together and attached the list of 25 critters we’ll be talking about and looking for, including a new addition to the list this year — Brazilian Skipper (see https://leplog.wordpress.com/2018/08/31/brazilian-skipper-in-md/ for details).
We’ll spend a couple hours going over the identifying characteristics of these late-summer skippers, and then 3/4 day in the field putting our ID skills to practice.  Assuming I get some sunshine over the weekend, I’ll be doing a scout trip to the National Arboretum/Kenilworth Aquatic Garden to ensure that there is enough diversity to support our field trip.  Tom & I did a scout last weekend to the Howard County Conservancy near Woodstock, and it’s a possible backup if conditions are bust at the Arboretum.  We’ll discuss and make a final decision Thursday night.
If you want to get a head start on ID for these, I recommend reviewing the species descriptions that I’ve digitized and put online for our use from the excellent (now out of print) guide to Eastern butterflies by Cech & Tudor.  You’ll find it in the LepLog library; if it asks for a password it will be NHFS (all caps):
If you can’t access the files for some reason, or have other questions, drop me a line and we’ll figure it out.
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[2018 Sept 2] Scouting report from US National Arboretum/Kenilworth Aquatic Garden
I spent most of the day afield at Kenilworth Aquatic Garden and the National Arboretum; pretty dispiriting.  For skippers, I had about a million Sachems, 1 Fiery, 2 Silver-spotted and 2 Wild Indigo Duskywings.  Total.  From both places, even though there is plenty in bloom.
So here’s the discussion for Thursday night.  Is anyone unable to travel to Soldiers Delight at Owings Mills MD (west of Baltimore)?  An alternative schedule would put us there first, with pretty much guaranteed sightings of Leonard’s Skipper and a great selection of others (Swarthy, Crossline, Dun, and of course Sachem).  Appended below is Tim Reichard’s scouting report from there today.
We would then decamp to the Howard Co Conservancy for lunch, where Tom and I had a really nice Crossline-Swarthy spectrum plus Fieries, etc.  And the usual suspects.  The added bonus here is the SnoCone stand a quarter mile away in Woodstock.
All things considered, if you don’t mind the extra distance (for some of you), Soldiers Delight/HoCo Conservancy would be the best bang for the buck.
Here’s Tim’s report from today:

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Today the Choate Mine Trail at Soldiers Delight NEA (Balt. Co.) had abundant blooming blazing star with a nice variety of grass skippers: lots of Swarthies and Leasts; a few Tawny-edged, Crosslines, Sachems, Peck’s, Zabulons; and one Leonard’s. Swallowtails were absent.
The Robinson Nature Center (How. Co.) garden was full of Sachems flying with a few Swarthies, Duns, Peck’s, Leasts, and Zabulons in the grass skipper subfamily. Sleepy Oranges continue to be common.
Tim Reichard<<