Poteat Farm Butterfly Trip – Sept. 11, 2016

On Sunday afternoon, Sept. 11, we had a joint field trip with NC Native Plant Society, TG Pearson Audubon, and Piedmont Bird Club to a farm in Jamestown, Guilford County that the owner, Marie Poteat, has turned into a wildlife preserve with Piedmont prairies, woodlands, and ponds.

It was a beautiful day with temperatures in the mid to upper 80s, partly cloudy sky, and a slight breeze. The large group of 32 participants was divided into three smaller groups that went in different directions.

With birders and native plant enthusiasts on hand, there was a lot knowledge in the groups. Marie’s property already had a lot of beautiful native plants, and she has spent the last several years reintroducing native grasses, many insect- and bird-friendly nectar and pollen plants, and fruit-bearing native shrubs.

Highlight for the butterfliers included a Hackberry Emperor that landed on the sign-in table as people were gathering, a fresh Variegated Fritillary laying eggs on native Passionflower vine (spotted by Maggie Martin), and numerous Cloudless Sulphurs. We also saw several Eastern Tiger Swallowtails, mating Eastern Tailed-blues, a Summer Azure, Sleepy Oranges, and a Common Buckeye. Missing from the various reports were most skippers. Only one, a Fiery Skipper, was reported.

Dennis Burnette