Spring has Sprung!

If you needed more proof, other than the 60 and 70 (even 80) degree weather we’ve been having, that spring has come early, here’s more evidence to the affirmative.

I’ve been hearing spring peepers, upland chorus frogs, pickerel frogs, cricket frogs, and even American toads calling. And, I’ve been seeing a handful of species of butterfly fluttering about, including question mark, spring azure, American snout, sleepy orange, and falcate orangetip.

The tiny cricket frog (note toad-like, warty skin).

The peepers and chorus frogs don’t surprise me. A couple of nights with temps in the fifties at any time during winter would get the peppers going. A few chorus frogs too, and perhaps pickerel frogs, may join the choir. I don’t, however, typically see or hear cricket frogs and American toads until mid March, not February.

American toad.

The butterflies? It’s not unusual to see a question mark or American snout (top banner) on a warm winter’s day, or a sleepy orange after a series of several warm days. But, the falcate orangetip doesn’t typically show itself here at the Museum until the second half of March. They’re not as common here as they are in other local areas, and they’re limited to one flight period per year, during March and April, so seeing one in February was exciting.

Male falcate orangetip (2/22/17).
Orangetip from another year to illustrate upper surface of wings.
Question mark.

Keep an eye out as you walk the paths here at the Museum, no telling what you might see!

A word of caution, I’ve seen ice and snow storms during the month of March in our area, so spring can just as easily become unsprung, if only temporarily.

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