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List: OKLeps
Date: Sat, 18 Nov 2017 23:35:50 +0000
From: Bryan Reynolds <nature_photo_man...> [okleps] <okleps...>
Subject: [okleps] Lower Rio Grande Valley trip report, Day 4, 1 Nov 2017

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All,


Below is my trip report from day 4 of my photo expedition to the Lower Rio =
Grande Valley. Below that are a couple links to photo albums with the days=
take. As always, please double check my ID's.

Day four (1 November 2017) of my trip arrived and I was excited because I w=
as heading to Resaca De La Palma State Park. I had been there a few times =
before and had great luck with Band-celled Sisters, Adelpha fessonia, Mexic=
an Bluewings, Myscelia ethusa, and of course Blue Metalmarks, Lasaia sula. =
The Metalmarks were always on the mist flowers and the other two were alwa=
ys on the bait stations and typically allowed a fairly close approach. Ano=
ther goal was to photograph the Walker=92s Metalmark, Apodemia walkeri, a s=
pecies I had never seen, but was usually found here. I was also excited be=
cause the weather had really warmed up and temps in the 90=92s were expecte=
d although it would be a little breezy.

After I checked in, I was very disappointed to learn that there was no bait=
out at the stations and they weren=92t going to put any out until the butt=
erfly festival began in the next few days. I later learned from a local so=
urce that a husband and wife pair that volunteered there, would always be t=
he ones who kept up with the bait stations, but they weren=92t there anymor=
e. Oh well, regardless of any of that, I was there to find and photograph =
butterflies. The obvious first place I started looking was the garden righ=
t next to the visitor=92s center.

The very first butterfly I stalked for photos was a Dorantes Longtail, Urba=
nus dorantes, nectaring from mist flower, Conoclinium sp. Like I=92ve men=
tioned before, sometimes common species don=92t fly my way, and I have very=
little photographic coverage of this one. So, I worked it hard and got so=
me decent photos. Then a fresh female Common Mellana, Quasimellana eulogiu=
s, landed and posed for several shots. Like I mentioned before, Mimosa Ski=
ppers, Cogia calchas, were fairly common on this trip and today was no exce=
ption, I worked a couple and then I spotted one of the most tattered butter=
flies I=92ve ever seen that could still fly. I think of these as the survi=
vors, the ones who have made it through to pass on their genes. So, I got =
some shots of it. I=92m pretty sure it=92s a Sickle-winged Skipper, Eantis=
tamenund.

After a couple more common species, and not yet seeing any Blue Metalmarks,=
Lasaia sula. I started down Ebony Trail. Right at the start of the trail=
, there was a tree in bloom that had about 1,000 American Snouts, Libythean=
a carinenta, nectaring on it. Later my host dubbed it the =91snout tree.=
=92 I looked for other species on the tree, but none were spotted. Howeve=
r, a faded Band-celled Sister, swooped over and landed straight above me. =
One photo, and it disappeared. A little further down and my first Mexican =
Bluewing, Myscelia ethusa, of the trip showed itself. It was also worn and=
tattered, so I just got a couple shots and hoped I=92d see fresher ones.

I walked slowly, looking for any movement and photographing other critters,=
when I finally reached the boardwalk at the end of the trail. The first t=
hing I spotted was a very nice Zebra Heliconian, Heliconius charithonia, on=
mist flower. Again, this species has eluded my photography attempts in th=
e past. They always seemed to just be fluttering around and never settling=
down for photos. Well, this one was a little more cooperative, and I was =
able to get many nice photos of it. If you are scrolling through my photo =
albums, I=92m sorry for the high volume of this particular one. I got a lo=
t of shots of it.

After that excitement, I kept working the boardwalk because it had a ton of=
mist flower blooming on both sides. There were the common species everywh=
ere and I kept scanning through them looking for something different. One =
species that seemed to be common in this spot was the Boisduval's Yellow, E=
urema arbela boisduvaliana. I=92m estimating I probably saw at least 50, b=
ut they always seemed to prefer the mist flower blossoms that were down dee=
p in the bush in very shaded areas and always way lower than the boardwalk.=
It was hard to get a few shots, but as I was trying, a larger sulphur fle=
w in and landed literally in front of my lens. At first, I thought it was =
a typical sulphur such as a Large Orange, or Cloudless, but as I got photos=
, I realized it was something I hadn=92t seen before. Only after I got bac=
k to my host=92s house and looked through my field guide, I realized it was=
a Creamy White, Melete lycimnia isandra, a lifer for me and apparently som=
ewhat rare for the area.

I photographed a couple more common species and then decided to head to my =
vehicle for a sandwich and then the short drive to Palo Alto Battlefield Na=
tional Historical Park. The Definite Patch, Chlosyne definita, is often sp=
otted there and I=92ve never even seen one. Once I arrived, the first thin=
g I noticed was the wind was really blowing. But, according to the nice yo=
ung lady who worked there, the butterfly is usually spotted in the garden n=
ext to the building, which happened to be sheltered from the wind. I scour=
ed the garden, but had no success in finding the butterfly. However, I did=
photograph a pair of courting Western Giant Swallowtails, Papilio rumiko. =
This was fun photography and I got several shots of the female fluttering =
over a mist flower and the male hovering just behind her trying to get her =
attention (she ignored him). After that excitement, I decided to head to t=
he smiley ball at Loma Alta to look for more species.

I=92ve been to this spot a couple times, and have a small amount of coverag=
e of Xami Hairstreaks, Callophrys xami, and Saltbush Sootywings, Hesperopsi=
s alpheus, but I wanted more. The first thing I noticed was the Camphor Da=
isy, Rayjacksonia phyllocephala, that a couple years ago was blooming like =
crazy, was barely there at all this time. On my last trip here in 2014, I =
photographed a ton of different butterflies nectaring from this plant, but =
not this time. So, I decided to look for the hairstreaks in the cacti (inf=
ested) spot just to the east of the trail. Also on my previous visit, a ni=
ce gentleman was also there and he was familiar with the area. He walked i=
nto this dangerous spot and found my first Xami for me. I remember it as a=
treacherous place, mostly because of the little cholla cactus that you don=
=92t notice because they blend in and look like a regular harmless plant. =
That is until you get one attached to your shin and it burns like crazy. S=
o, just like I was shown, I slowly walked into this stuff. It didn=92t tak=
e long and I was cussing and trying to yank out a chunk of cholla stuck to =
my leg. I thought I=92d be rewarded for my pain when I saw a Xami flush an=
d land about 10 feet from me. The only problem was there was a bunch of th=
at cactus between me and it. As I started to get closer, the butterfly dis=
appeared. I started to get frustrated and asked myself, if I spotted anoth=
er one, how the heck would I get down low enough to get a decent photo? So=
, I decided to work my way out to the trail and just walk it to see what wo=
uld happen. Well, that was a good decision, because as soon as I did, I sp=
otted a Xami right along the edge. I was able to get right down at its lev=
el and get some photos. 10 more feet down the path and I got another one. =
I spotted several this way and was able to get photos of a few of them. I=
didn=92t see any Sootywings, but I later learned I should have walked the =
path further north until I started to see saltbush plants. That=92s where =
the skippers would be. Well there=92s always next year.

By now it was getting late and I hadn=92t seen the ocean yet. So, I drove =
to the end of the road and walked around the sand and surf for a while and =
fed the gulls some of my extra sandwich bread. Well, I had another fun and=
productive day with 654 frames fired and 128 keepers. I didn=92t see any =
Definite Patches or Walker=92s Metalmarks, but I got one lifer and coverage=
of others that had eluded me in the past as well as some nice behavior sho=
ts.


Butterflies from the day: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanereynolds/alb=
ums/72157689751659715


Misc. critters from the day: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanereynolds/=
albums/72157689751781185


Take care,

Bryan


Bryan E. Reynolds

Find me on Facebook: Bryan Reynolds/Nature Photographer

My Flickr Photostream: http://www.flickr.com/bryanereynolds<http://www.fli=
ckr.com/photos/78441846%40N03/>

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<div id=3D"divtagdefaultwrapper" style=3D"font-size:12pt;color:#000000;font=
-family:Calibri,Helvetica,sans-serif;" dir=3D"ltr">
<p>All,</p>
<p><br>
</p>
<p>Below is my trip report from day 4 of my photo expedition to the Lower R=
io Grande Valley.&nbsp; Below that are a couple links to photo albums with =
the days take.&nbsp; As always, please double check my ID's.</p>
<p><br>
</p>
<p></p>
<div>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">Day four (1 November 2017) of my trip arrived and I =
was excited because I was heading to Resaca De La Palma State Park.<span st=
yle=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I had been there a few times before and had great luck with Band-cel=
led Sisters, Adelpha fessonia, Mexican Bluewings, Myscelia ethusa, and of c=
ourse Blue Metalmarks, Lasaia sula.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>The Metalmarks were always on the mist flowers and the other two wer=
e always on the bait stations and typically allowed a fairly close approach=
.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Another goal was to photograph the Walker=92s Metalmark, Apodemia wa=
lkeri, a species I had never seen, but was usually found here.<span style=
=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I was also excited because the weather had really warmed up and temp=
s in the 90=92s were expected although it would be a little breezy.</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">After I checked in, I was very disappointed to learn=
that there was no bait out at the stations and they weren=92t going to put=
any out until the butterfly festival began in the next few days.<span styl=
e=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I later learned from a local source that a husband and wife pair tha=
t volunteered there, would always be the ones who kept up with the bait sta=
tions, but they weren=92t there anymore.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&n=
bsp;
</span>Oh well, regardless of any of that, I was there to find and photogra=
ph butterflies.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>The obvious first place I started looking was the garden right next =
to the visitor=92s center.</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">The very first butterfly I stalked for photos was a =
Dorantes Longtail, Urbanus dorantes, nectaring from
<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>mist flower, Conoclinium sp.<=
span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Like I=92ve mentioned before, sometimes common species don=92t fly m=
y way, and I have very little photographic coverage of this one.<span style=
=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>So, I worked it hard and got some decent photos.<span style=3D"mso-s=
pacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Then a fresh female Common Mellana, Quasimellana eulogius, landed an=
d posed for several shots.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Like I mentioned before, Mimosa Skippers, Cogia calchas, were fairly=
common on this trip and today was no exception, I worked a couple and then=
I spotted one of the most tattered butterflies I=92ve ever seen that could=
still fly.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I think of these as the survivors, the ones who have made it through=
to pass on their genes.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>So, I got some shots of it.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; <=
/span>I=92m pretty sure it=92s a Sickle-winged Skipper, Eantis tamenund.</p=
>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">After a couple more common species, and not yet seei=
ng any Blue Metalmarks, Lasaia sula.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I started down Ebony Trail.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp; <=
/span>Right at the start of the trail, there was a tree in bloom that had a=
bout 1,000 American Snouts, Libytheana carinenta, nectaring on it.<span sty=
le=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Later my host dubbed it the =91snout tree.=92<span style=3D"mso-spac=
erun:yes">&nbsp; </span>
I looked for other species on the tree, but none were spotted.<span style=
=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>However, a faded Band-celled Sister, swooped over and landed straigh=
t above me.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>One photo, and it disappeared.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp=
; </span>A little further down and my first Mexican Bluewing, Myscelia ethu=
sa, of the trip showed itself.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>It was also worn and tattered, so I just got a couple shots and hope=
d I=92d see fresher ones.</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">I walked slowly, looking for any movement and photog=
raphing other critters, when I finally reached the boardwalk at the end of =
the trail.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>The first thing I spotted was a very nice Zebra Heliconian, Heliconi=
us charithonia, on mist flower.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Again, this species has eluded my photography attempts in the past.<=
span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>They always seemed to just be fluttering around and never settling d=
own for photos.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Well, this one was a little more cooperative, and I was able to get =
many nice photos of it.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>If you are scrolling through my photo albums, I=92m sorry for the hi=
gh volume of this particular one.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I got a lot of shots of it.</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">After that excitement, I kept working the boardwalk =
because it had a ton of mist flower blooming on both sides.<span style=3D"m=
so-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>There were the common species everywhere and I kept scanning through=
them looking for something different.
<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;</span>One species that seemed to be=
common in this spot was the Boisduval's Yellow, Eurema arbela boisduvalian=
a.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I=92m estimating I probably saw at least 50, but they always seemed =
to prefer the mist flower blossoms that were down deep in the bush in very =
shaded areas and always way lower than the boardwalk.<span style=3D"mso-spa=
cerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>It was hard to get a few shots, but as I was trying, a larger sulphu=
r flew in and landed literally in front of my lens.<span style=3D"mso-space=
run:yes">&nbsp;
</span>At first, I thought it was a typical sulphur such as a Large Orange,=
or Cloudless, but as I got photos, I realized it was something I hadn=92t =
seen before.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Only after I got back to my host=92s house and looked through my fie=
ld guide, I realized it was a Creamy White, Melete lycimnia isandra, a life=
r for me and apparently somewhat rare for the area.</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">I photographed a couple more common species and then=
decided to head to my vehicle for a sandwich and then the short drive to P=
alo Alto Battlefield National Historical Park.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:y=
es">&nbsp;
</span>The Definite Patch, Chlosyne definita, is often spotted there and I=
=92ve never even seen one.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Once I arrived, the first thing I noticed was the wind was really bl=
owing.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>But, according to the nice young lady who worked there, the butterfl=
y is usually spotted in the garden next to the building, which happened to =
be sheltered from the wind.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I scoured the garden, but had no success in finding the butterfly.<s=
pan style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>However, I did photograph a pair of courting Western Giant Swallowta=
ils, Papilio rumiko.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>This was fun photography and I got several shots of the female flutt=
ering over a mist flower and the male hovering just behind her trying to ge=
t her attention (she ignored him).<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>After that excitement, I decided to head to the smiley ball at Loma =
Alta to look for more species.</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">I=92ve been to this spot a couple times, and have a =
small amount of coverage of Xami Hairstreaks, Callophrys xami, and Saltbush=
Sootywings, Hesperopsis alpheus, but I wanted more.<span style=3D"mso-spac=
erun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>The first thing I noticed was the Camphor Daisy, Rayjacksonia phyllo=
cephala, that a couple years ago was blooming like crazy, was barely there =
at all this time.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>On my last trip here in 2014, I photographed a ton of different butt=
erflies nectaring from this plant, but not this time.<span style=3D"mso-spa=
cerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>So, I decided to look for the hairstreaks in the cacti (infested) sp=
ot just to the east of the trail.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Also on my previous visit, a nice gentleman was also there and he wa=
s familiar with the area.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>He walked into this dangerous spot and found my first Xami for me.<s=
pan style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I remember it as a treacherous place, mostly because of the little c=
holla cactus that you don=92t notice because they blend in and look like a =
regular harmless plant.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>That is until you get one attached to your shin and it burns like cr=
azy.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>So, just like I was shown, I slowly walked into this stuff.<span sty=
le=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>It didn=92t take long and I was cussing and trying to yank out a chu=
nk of cholla stuck to my leg.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I thought I=92d be rewarded for my pain when I saw a Xami flush and =
land about 10 feet from me.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>The only problem was there was a bunch of that cactus between me and=
it.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>As I started to get closer, the butterfly disappeared.<span style=3D=
"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I started to get frustrated and asked myself, if I spotted another o=
ne, how the heck would I get down low enough to get a decent photo?<span st=
yle=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>So, I decided to work my way out to the trail and just walk it to se=
e what would happen.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Well, that was a good decision, because as soon as I did, I spotted =
a Xami right along the edge.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I was able to get right down at its level and get some photos.<span =
style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>10 more feet down the path and I got another one.<span style=3D"mso-=
spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I spotted several this way and was able to get photos of a few of th=
em.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I didn=92t see any Sootywings, but I later learned I should have wal=
ked the path further north until I started to see saltbush plants.<span sty=
le=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>That=92s where the skippers would be.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes=
">&nbsp; </span>
Well there=92s always next year.</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">&nbsp;</p>
<p class=3D"MsoNormal">By now it was getting late and I hadn=92t seen the o=
cean yet.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>So, I drove to the end of the road and walked around the sand and su=
rf for a while and fed the gulls some of my extra sandwich bread.<span styl=
e=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>Well, I had another fun and productive day with 654 frames fired and=
128 keepers.<span style=3D"mso-spacerun:yes">&nbsp;
</span>I didn=92t see any Definite Patches or Walker=92s Metalmarks, but I =
got one lifer and coverage of others that had eluded me in the past as well=
as some nice behavior shots.</p>
</div>
<br>
<p></p>
<p>Butterflies from the day: &nbsp;<a href=3D"https://www.flickr.com/photos=
/bryanereynolds/albums/72157689751659715" class=3D"OWAAutoLink" id=3D"LPlnk=
25038" previewremoved=3D"true">https://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanereynolds=
/albums/72157689751659715</a></p>
<p><br>
</p>
<p>Misc. critters from the day: &nbsp;<a href=3D"https://www.flickr.com/pho=
tos/bryanereynolds/albums/72157689751781185" class=3D"OWAAutoLink" id=3D"LP=
lnk698164" previewremoved=3D"true">https://www.flickr.com/photos/bryanereyn=
olds/albums/72157689751781185</a><br>
</p>
<p><br>
</p>
<p>Take care,</p>
<p>Bryan<br>
</p>
<p><br>
</p>
<div id=3D"Signature"><span style=3D"font-size:18pt; font-family:'Bookman O=
ld Style'">Bryan E. Reynolds<br>
<br>
</span><font style=3D"" color=3D"#000000">Find me on Facebook:&nbsp; Bryan =
Reynolds/Nature Photographer<br>
<br>
My Flickr Photostream:&nbsp; <a href=3D"http://www.flickr.com/photos/784418=
46%40N03/" target=3D"_blank" id=3D"LPNoLP">
http://www.flickr.com/<font style=3D"" color=3D"#000000">bryanereynolds</fo=
nt></a></font><br>
</div>
</div>




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