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mole Jul 4, 2012 4:42 PM

Just a few "mountain bugs"
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Early July is a VERY BUSY time in our parks, but have still found a few spare minutes for some rambles in the high country. Will post some of the small "critters" in this thread, and some of the blooms and views in a separate thread.

Milkweeds are already past their peak here in the lower elevations of East Tennessee, but just coming into bloom at the higher altitudes. Here's a Common Buckeye butterfly working the abundant Common Milkweed nectar.

mole Jul 4, 2012 4:43 PM

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Swamp Milkweed is also a great nectar source - as this small bee (leaf cutter??) and skipper both discovered.

mole Jul 4, 2012 4:46 PM

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Found a new (to me) butterfly species at a high elevation bog in nearby Greene County TN. Flight pattern made me think it was a Northern Pearly Eye, but when it landed, we could see it was an Appalachian Brown. Subtle beauty, and not too common..

mole Jul 4, 2012 4:47 PM

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My new butterfly friend had better watch out for this character. The same bog (and many other wetland locations across our region) are home to one of our largest, strongest, fiercest dragonflies - the Dragon Hunter. Dragon Hunters often eat other dragonflies, and also seem to enjoy "butterfly snacks."

mole Jul 4, 2012 4:49 PM

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Hot dry weather has been tough for the East Tennessee "critters" (as well as for our park visitors). But recent rains may bring an end to the heat wave. Rains sure have been a welcome relief for our Forest Snails (like this little friend up at Firescald Knob).

Hope you've enjoyed a quick look at some of the smaller lives of summer in the East Tennessee mountains, and that you will share your comments, critique & suggestions.

dane/dawg Jul 4, 2012 8:41 PM

Great series. Love the first shot..

Keltech Jul 6, 2012 5:23 AM

Nice series I enjoyed them all. First time for me seeing a Dragon Hunter up close.


hnikesch Jul 6, 2012 8:55 AM

Very nice series Mole, great colors and sharpness. I agree I like #1 best


mtnman Jul 6, 2012 8:07 PM

They're all great Mole, but I have to agree, #1 is the best of the bunch. Thanks for bringing us along!

Frogfish Jul 9, 2012 1:06 PM

Excellent shots Mole. Love the Appalachian Brown, gorgeous butterfly.

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