Monday, June 15, 2009

How can a Rock be Starved?

Spent the weekend at Starved Rock -- about 100 miles south -- with my entire extended family. Here are some of the interesting plant and arthropod discoveries there...
Sumac Catalpa flowering. Up close, the flowers are about 1.5 inches, irregular, and stunning.
Black raspberry ALMOST ready to eat...
Hazelnut (on which hazel) not nearly ready to eat, but formed!
Some sort of hawkweed-like thing. Goat's beard?
Poison Ivy -- easily the most common plant at Starved Rock -- this one is hanging form a vine and its flowers are visible under the leaves.
Bell flower.Berries on a cedar.
Lungwort? Some sort of non-vascular plant clinging to the sandstone cliffside...
I have no idea what this is. But it's cool.
Ditto. This flower is TINY.
Another hawkweed-esque thing, this one a perfect yellow-orange color.
One of many millipedes, about 3-4 inches long.
With its wings spread, this butterfly was blue; closed, they look grey. Maybe an Azure? Saw several other varieties of butterfly as well.


  1. I'm curious about that butterfly at the end. I've photographed one before but was not 100% sure of the ID, because like you noted it is blue when the wings are spread.

  2. Using the Kaufman Butterflies of North America Field Guide, I am pretty sure the butterfly is a spring azure. It doesn't match the wing shape/pattern for any of the other blue butterflies in the area (like silvery blue or eastern tailed blue). However, I leave it open because a book that has all types of butterflies for the entire continent is probably missing some species... but I always assume I've seen the most common, rather than the rarest, possibility. I'm not that lucky.