Monday, December 16—An Amazing Day at the National Butterfly Center

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Kay is still in central Arkansas, and I’m still recovering from an infection—no long distance bicycle riding today.  Neighbor Lorna and I drove the short distance to the National Butterfly Center (NBC) since she had only been once and I not been in almost two weeks because of cool and otherwise inclement weather.  Our goal was to view the West Coast Lady, a butterfly than makes an infrequent visit to the NBC.  Lorna had seen one two weeks before in an old tree-covered, but now dry ditch, and viewed one yesterday near the office building.  We spent considerable time walking through the gardens around the office building, but did not see the West Coast Lady.  We did, however, see many other great butterflies including a Monarch , Malachite, Buckeye, an assortment of Skippers, and several species of Fritillaries, in addition to the plethora of small white and yellow butterflies that frequent the gardens, and while there met old birding friends from last year’s birding trips.  We drove to the main gardens, and spotted the normal cast of characters including Red Admirals and Tropical Leafwings before deciding to walk down the tree-covered dry ditch bank back to the office gardens in hopes of spotting a West Coast Lady.  We were surprised by the number of birds using the tree-covered area, particularly warblers.  Shortly after arriving back at the office gardens, we received word that a rare Blonfild’s Beauty had been spotted back at the main gardens, so we hoofed it back there to be rewarded by great views of this rare Beauty, shown on the right.  After the appropriate “oohs and ahhs,” we drove back to the RV resort for happy hour at the palapa.

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Court Whist tonight was filled with lousy hands, but it was fun nevertheless as there is a lot of visiting going on between hands and games.  It will be even more fun when Al and Sharon Crawford arrive after Christmas.

This is my last full day of being in charge as Kay returns tomorrow morning.

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