The Audubon Sanctuary: Butterfly Bonanza!
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King of the thistle Can we share? It's definitely butterfly time at the local Audubon sanctuaries. Frederick County is lucky enough to have two: the Fred Archibald sanctuary in New Market, and the Audrey Carroll sanctuary near Mt. Airy. Both were made possible by the generous donation of farms to the Audubon Society, guaranteeing that the sanctuaries will remain undeveloped so that we and future generations may enjoy them.
Quite the pair! Cabbage white on ironweed. Although most people visit Audubon sanctuaries for the birds, I have been going lately for the butterflies. I led a butterfly walk through Fred Archibald on Saturday morning, but the purple thistle favored by the butterflies was in the distance off the paths. At Audrey Carroll, there is plenty of it right along the paths. Today I saw butterflies of all kinds, as well as some hummingbird moths.
Monarch on ironweed. Definitely a flutter-er! If you want to see the butterflies, here is what to do. Plan on getting to the sanctuary around 9:30. Butterflies generally do not feed until the sun is up and the air is warmer. I find they are quite active between 9:30 and 11 am. Wear long pants (ticks are present in any area with grasses), sturdy closed-toe shoes, and a hat. Bring along some water.
Fritillary and friend August 27 - 21Black swallowtail on thistle To see the butterflies, you will not need binoculars, but you may want them for the birds. To photograph the butterflies, you will not need a long lens at this sanctuary. A tripod may be helpful unless you are able to shoot at a high enough shutter speed to lessen the chance of blur.
Yellow swallowtail on purple thistle. Sip, sip, sip! Park at the roadside parking area and walk to the left of the gate. Take the path on your left, which curves, and after the curve, take the first path on your left. You will go by a farmhouse and a fenced in garden. Continue on the path straight ahead to the nesting boxes, and you will see purple thistle all along the pathways. Ironweed, ragweed, goldenrod, and Queen Anne's lace are also abundant.
There were cicadas, too! Enjoy your visit to the sanctuary; please obey the posted rules and leave the pets at home. Perhaps I will see you there at the walk I am leading Tuesday morning, August 29, at 9:30 am.
<Thanks for reading my blog entry, which is part of a personal photography project to bring attention to and to benefit the Fred Archibald Sanctuary in New Market, MD. The sanctuary is owned and managed by the Audubon Society of Central Maryland. Copyright 2017 Cam Miller. All photographs are for sale upon request.>
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