|This savanna made possible by heavy equipment.|
|Great purple hairstreak nectaring on old frostweed|
The site looked great, exceptionally so for a year '0' restoration. Many of the seeded native grasses have established, as have some pioneering flowering plants. Beautyberry and pokeweed were most abundant. I also spotted a few tendrils of maypop, frostweed, smartweed, and some other species.
|closer: great purple hairstreak|
A gorgeous great purple hairstreak was investigating the few remaining blossoms on a tall frostweed in the center of the savanna. He (?) was shimmying the tails on his hindwings enticingly- evidently a behavioral adaptation to encourage birds to take a nip there instead of places where they could cause real damage. Interestingly, great purple hairstreak larvae eat only broad-leaved mistletoe. I didn't think to examine the treetops for these arboreal parasitic plants, but I can imagine that a savanna with an understory of rich nectar sources and an overstory hosting their larval food plant would be a good place to make a living as a butterfly.
I think most people find savannas quite aesthetically pleasing, and I hope this site stays lovely, propelled forward by a solid start.
|Beautyberry lit by a patch of sun in the understory|
|Lady's tresses, Spiranthes spp.|