Andres checks net for Hoary Elfin. Other than the two pine trees, the only plants that are
in the photo are the low-lying masses of bearberry, which is the larval host plant of the Hoary Elfin.
Note green of bearberry at Anders' feet. Also note that the oaks are not yet leafed out.
Mo looks over disked fire break to west of Gomulak Fire Lane. We checked the violet and
blooms here for butterflies, but we only saw a Mottled Dusky Wing Skipper resting on the ground here.
Eight of the group look at a Hoary Elfin on the bearberry plants.
Chryxus Arctic. This species is out for only a couple weeks in May and is seen
only in very low numbers
Hoary Elfin. This species is also out for a few weeks in May, but it was quite common
where bearberry was growing. About 60 were seen in total at two sites on the Barrens.
Here is a trip report by Dean Hansen (e-mailed to webmaster) who was the trek leader:
"Here's what we saw at Crex, Danbury WMA, sites east of Danbury, and in the Barrens on Saturday, May 15:
We, i.e., me and ten others, left the Visitors' Center at Crex Meadows at 9:45 Saturday morning. Weather couldn't have been nicer--upper 60s, light winds, all but clear skies. Following are the sites we stopped at and the species and numbers of butterflies seen at each site:
Crex Sand Prairie: Olympia Marble 4
Clouded Sulphur 3
Northern Cloudy Wing 1
Dune, NW of Reed Lake, just south of Reed Lake Road
Olympia Marbles 6
Eastern Tailed Blue 2
Silvery Blue 4
Juvenal's Dusky Wing 1
Mottled Dusky Wing 4
Persius Dusky Wing 4
Clouded Sulphur 5
Dune NE of Reed Lake, also corner of Reed Lake Road and James Road
Olympia Marble 10
American Copper 1 (only one of the day)
Western Tailed Blue (North side of Reed Lake Road at the corner) 2
Silvery Blue 5
Dreamy Dusky Wing (probable) 4
Olympia Marble 2
Eastern Pine Elfin 2
Eastern Tailed Blue 2
Silvery Blue 5
Karner Blue 0 (have seen them here in other years; lupine not yet in bloom)
Sleepy Dusky Wing (probable) 3
Juvenal's Dusky Wing 2
Tiger Swallowtail 1
Airfield Road at East Staples Lake Road (NW 1/4, Section 16, Swiss (E) Twp)
Numerous undetermined Dusky Winged Skippers on sand of road
Common Roadside Skipper 1
Springbrook Trail, north border Section 2, Swiss (E) Twp
Eastern Pine Elfin 10 On sand of road through pine/aspen woods
Namekagon Trail Bog, west border Section 27, Blaine (E) Twp
Olympia Marbles 2
Eastern Pine Elfin 1
"Spring" Spring Azure 3
Unidentified Dusky Winged Skippers 40 All were very "flightly"--would flit about, land briefly, then take off again when approached. Tiger Swallowtail 4
Brown Elfin 0 (several of us searched the bog, but with no sightings of either Brown Elfins, any Boloria, or any Jutta Arctics; a Jutta was found here last year)
Namekagon Barrens: Walking just north of firebreak 0.1 mile east off Dry Landing Road, just north of Clemens Creek
Hoary Elfin 30 Bearberry was abundant and healthy
American Painted Lady 1
Namekagon Barrens: Gomulak Fire Lane, east border of Section 2, Blaine (E) Twp
Hoary Elfin 30 Again, abundant where the fine stands of bearberry were
Chryxus Arctic 1 Flew low to ground, landed near bearberry. Only one seen all day
Mottled Dusky Wing 1 Absolutely beautiful, newly emerged, perfect individual. And it posed.
The weather was warm enough that even before noon the numerous Erynnis (Dusky Winged Skippers) out did a lot of just flying about without landing long enough to get a decent view of them. We had IDed five species of Erynnis in Crex Meadows, so some of the participants were getting a bit tired of trying to chase down an Erynnis just to get another record of Juvenalis or "either Dreamy or Sleepy." We saw no H. metea and no H. sassacus. Ditto for Hobomok and any of the other grass skippers. Ditto for any of the overwintering guys, too. But still, we saw 19 species for the day, and seven of the ten participants were rank beginners at butterfly watching. All in all, it was a really great day for all concerned. Most kept going until after 5 PM.
Attached are some shots of the participants in the Barrens, plus two shots of two of the butterflies we were able to see there. "Hoary.jpg" is a shot of a Hoary Elfin, the larvae of which feed only on bearberry. There were fine patches of bearberry on the east side of Gomulak Fire Lane and in the barrens just north of a fire break just north of Clemens Creek, east off of Dry Landing Road. The Chryxus Arctic is a very good find--I've only seen a few specimens up there. The Hoary Elfins were out in very good numbers at the two sites we visited, wherever bearberry was abundant and healthy."