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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:51 PM   #1
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Default Laurel Run is Blooming

Was out at Laurel Run Park in nearby Hawkins County recently, checking for a rare plant. We also enjoyed seeing so many new butterflies of the season. Here's a dark morph female Tiger Swallowtail on a Wood Poppy bloom.
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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:52 PM   #2
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Here are a few more views of her nectaring plant. Wood Poppy flourishes in damp, rich, shady woodlands - a good description of Laurel Run!
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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:53 PM   #3
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Here's a male Tiger Swallowtail working the Spring Larkspur. Larkspur nectar is way back in the spur of each flower, and so it's perfect for the Swallowtail's long tongue!
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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:54 PM   #4
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Pipevine Swallowtails were also working the Spring Larkspur.
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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:55 PM   #5
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Spring Larkspur is usually blue or purplish in color, but some individual plants may have other flower colors!
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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:55 PM   #6
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Here's a rather rare butterfly - the West Virginia White. Unfortunately, that plant he's nectaring on is a very destructive invasive exotic. Garlic Mustard chokes out native wildflowers. Also, there is a chemical in Garlic Mustard leaves that kills caterpillars. When the Whites (or other butterflies) lay eggs on Garlic Mustard, the caterpillars do not live to become butterflies... (We did pull up a lot of Garlic Mustard that day!)
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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:57 PM   #7
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But what about the rare plant? We did find a thriving population - well off the beaten path - of Goldenseal. It's a plant much sought-after for medicinal purposes. Folks seek out and dig the plants to sell the roots. So we were glad to see this healthy patch thriving in a safe and remote location.
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Old Apr 29, 2014, 8:57 PM   #8
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This Luna Moth hopes you enjoyed a glimpse of the flowers and 'flies of Laurel Run! Thanks for any comments & critique!
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