Our 9th Annual Butterfly Count was a wonderful time! The weather was perfect – sunny enough for butterflies but not too hot for the counters. Twenty-six of us went out in 4 teams, covering a very large area of our count circle that ranged from the Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship down through Appalachian Trail Road, over to Lincoln and points south, through Leesburg and over through Waterford. We identified 5,042 butterflies covering 50 species. This is the highest number of individuals we’ve seen in our 9 years of counting, suggesting that conditions must have been the right mix of rain and sun through the season to give us such robust numbers. In terms of percentage changes in our observations, Meadow Fritillaries really stand out. Last year they were approximately 1% of the butterflies we identified while this year, their numbers made up 17% of the total. Pearl Crescents, while it seemed as if we were seeing them everywhere were 15% of our total, which is in track with last year at 14%. Silver Spotted Skippers were down this year at 3% of our total, versus 7% last year.
Special thanks to all of our participants: Jon and BJ Little, Dee Leggett, Patsy and Ken Hunter, Ron Staley, Iiona Popper, Phil and Ellie Daley, Tom Raque, Mona Miller, Bob Lyon, Bill and Regina Cour, Michelle and Dave Hanson, Lisa and Rhiannon Taylor, Harry Pavulaan, Tamera and Scott MacDonald, Desiree DiMaura, Sonya, John and Maria Hunt, and Nicole Hamilton.