Meadowlands Environmental Research Institute Executive Director Francisco Artigas reports:
Attached are photos from Thursday at low tide showing the new establishment of Spartina alterniflora on the Saw Mill Creek WMA mudflat.
This mudflat has been without vegetation since I have known it (1997). It seems that Sandy changed the elevation, which is allowing a healthy establishment of Spartina.
We hope to measure past and current LiDAR to determine exactly the magnitude of the elevation change in this area. (Thanks, Francisco!)
Butterflies are abounding at DeKorte Park these days.
On an early lunch break we had:
Black Swallowtails (several)
Eastern Tiger Swallowtails (3)
Silver-spotted Skippers (many)
Broad-winged Skippers (oodles)
Cabbage Whites (many)
Orange Sulfurs (many)
In recent days have also had Monarchs, Question Mark, Wild Indigo Duskywings and a Common Buckeye that would not pose for a photo. (DeKorte Butterfly Guides are available free in the Meadowlands Environment Center.)
Joey the Hornworm was relocated to a terrarium yesterday after he showed signs of pupating (including stopping eating and trying to dig).
As soon as he went into the terrarium (right, held by the MEC’s Sue Lewicki, who has been tending to Joey’s well-being), he went underground.
We think he is making himself a sleeping bag to pupate in. If all goes well, he could emerge as a Tobacco Hawkmoth in three weeks.
More on Tobacco Hornworms here.