Butterflies, Damselflies and, of course, Turtles!

How many turtles can you count from the boardwalk?  I think the current record is 40.  Eastern painted turtles bask on logs and lily pads.  Covered in tiny green plants called duckweed, they are well disguised.  But if they see you coming, they will drop quickly into the safety of the water.

Eastern painted turtle

It’s a great year for butterflies.  Pearl crescents can be seen nectaring on asters.  A good choice as they also lay their eggs on asters, which are the food plants for their caterpillars.  This butterfly is perched on another nectar plant, black-eyed susan.


DSCF5832b Pearl crescent sm for webDSC_3120 aster2Common ringlets can be seen in fields close to the ground.  Half a dozen or more will flutter lightly through the grasses that are food plants for their caterpillars.

Common ringlet

Ebony Jewelwing is a spectacular damselfly.  The male is unmistakable and can be seen under the hemlocks near the mill sites.  The female flies close to the water and gently touches her abdomen to the water surface to lay eggs.

Ebony Jewelwing

To see these fascinating creatures and learn more, sign up for a summer program on Butterflies and Dragonflies.

The boardwalk trail is a great place to see marsh life.  To hear bird and amphibian sounds and learn more about the habitats, try our self-guiding Audio Tour on your cell phone.

Audio tour

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