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first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

Posted by spaceman13 6b (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 10, 12 at 10:44

Saw my first butterfly, albeit briefly!
This morning I saw a Mourning Cloak butterfly, struggling mightily against a stiff breeze!

Last year was the first I've Mourning Cloak I ever saw in my area. The Hackbury tree in the back yard must be an overwintering site.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

Congrats, congrats!
Mourning cloaks are such gorgeous butterflies!
Sherry


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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

Wow, I bet that was a thrill to see the Mourning Cloak! Hopefully I'll start seeing them around here since I'm in central PA! I think they are so pretty! I've never raised any but have seen them here several times and one time one flew in on our back porch when we had the door open and I got some pics of it (it would take me awhile to find them). I hope to get to raise some MCs someday. I have several small hackberry trees and so far have only had Eastern Comma cats on them in the past few years.
Cathy


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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

Mourning Cloaks are the first butterflies I usually see in the spring in our yard, how exciting for you to see one in zone 6b. I am in Zone 4 here, so I suppose it will be awhile yet, although yesterday it was 66 degrees here, we broke a record high that was held for 134 years. It was gorgeous here!


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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

Congrats on your MC! We should all dance now; it's Hammertime!

Cathy, I've never raised any either. I thought I had some one time, but turned out they were something else. Hard to tell in the very early instars. That is cool you've raised Commas! I never see them, though they are recorded here in Oklahoma. I only get Question Marks and Emperor's (Tawny and Hackberry) on the Hackberry trees.

I'm surprised I haven't seen any Goatweed Leafwings yet. I've seen lots of Little Yellows, though, and the ubiquitous Cabbage Whites, always a sign of Springtime here.

I started some garden cleanup yesterday, but didn't get very far into it. My water got turned off and I didn't want my hands to get any dirtier until it was back on. Someone's line up the street broke. Took them about 8 hours to fix it. Erg.........

I am seeing lots of birds. One is a red - not a Cardinal, but kind of short and round, feeding on the suet feeder. Cute little thing.

I also saw Green Lacewings yesterday, too.

Gotta get more seeds started today - had to put that off due to the water issue yesterday - including my Japanese Morning Glories, White Cleome and White 4 o'clocks for the moths, some Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias physocarpa, and a few more tomatos and other veggies.

The Ribes odoratum and Dianthus is blooming, the butterfly bushes are putting out new foliage, the Blueberries are about to bloom, Spring has sprung and lot of things are in the early stages of spring growth.

My 21 month old GD is now noticing all the flowers in her yard, since Nanny started to point them out to her last year. By flowers I mean the Dandelions, Henbit, Spring Beauties, Lepidium (Pepperweed), Daffodils. She will find them and go "Awwwwww, petty Nanny". Thru the eyes of children, we see everything as brand new and fresh! She's such a joy to Nanny!! Everyone should experience a toddler grandchild IMHO! As adults we seem to become immune to the beauty around us, but it is renewed thru the eyes of our babies' wonder and innocence. This is my last little GC so I am trying to be particularly attentive to these things. The tiny little tubular flowers of a Henbit bring such excitement to her little eyes.

Susan


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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

Susan, I'm sorry, I don't know whatever possessed me to type 'Eastern Comma' when what I actually meant to say was 'Question Mark'. I never raised any commas at all. It would be nice though!

I think spring is here even though the calendar doesn't say so. We're supposed to have daytime temps in the 60s and 70s for at least the next 10 days. I'm done with all of my winter sowing, including my annuals. I don't usually sow the annual seeds until the end of this month but considering the warmer than usual temps we've been having, I decided to do them a few weeks early this year.

You mentioned seeing lacewings already. I haven't seen any of them yet but saw a tiny praying mantis today. I got a few things done outside like playing grass in the ex-strawberry patch that I gave up because of my back, and I intend to put some more garden back into grass for the same reason. At least I'm finally scheduled to see an orthopedic surgeon. Is it possible to look forward to spring and dread it at the same time? Ah well, I'll take it as it comes. I'm just glad to be alive so I get to see all of the beautiful butterflies. :) Enjoy those precious grand-kids while you can.
Cathy


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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

Sorry about your back problems, Cathy. I can certainly relate, having had a Laminectomy in 2004. I may be facing another one in the future, but it was the best thing I ever did.

Susan


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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

I saw my first Mourning Cloak yesterday in my backyard. I had to have my River Birch trimmed. Unfortunately, it is leaking sap from the branches they trimmed. This is attracting the Mourning Cloak.


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RE: first sighting - Mourning Cloak, SouthCentral PA!

I camped out at Mammoth Caves in Kentucky last weekend. Lepidoptera were thick, which was great. I kept braking for moths (including a luna) while driving through the forest. Had a tulip tree moth join us for our late dinner Friday night. Our lanterns were covered in moths each night. Lots of butterflies during the day.

Had many of the same species of caterpillar looking for places to pupate. I knew they were butterfly cats but I did not know which kind. I had no ID books with me since we had to pack 7 people and equipment for them in one vehicle. Got home and found out they were mourning cloaks.

KC

Here is a link that might be useful: Mourning Cloak caterpillar


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