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Upcoming Events

NOTICE of rescheduled workshop:

In place of the workshop that was cancelled on July 23, SIOSA will sponsor a Monarch Bioblitz this Saturday, Aug. 4 to coincide with the 2nd international Monarch Blitz described in the email below. 

The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Slip Bluff County Park, northeast of Lamoni. Veronica Mecko will lead the group in counting milkweeds and Monarch adults, eggs and larvae.

If you are interested in participating, please email and more information will be provided. 

If you can’t attend this event consider monitoring on your property or a native wildflower area near you. Go to, Monarch Larval Monitoring Project, to get all the information you will need.

Next SIOSA board meeting

The next regular SIOSA meeting is Wednesday, April 4 at 1:00 pm.  We will be meeting at the Clarke County Conservation Board headquarters at East Lake Park.  The park is located just east of Osceola on Hwy 34.

Field Journal, August 1-15, 2017

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 @ 11:08 AM
posted by veronica

Field Journal, August 1-15

By Sibylla Brown, Timberhill Oak Savanna

I’ll never forget the first time I saw Yellow False Foxglove, Aureolaria grandiflora, at Timberhill.  I was walking up the driveway in late July, 1998, when I noticed a clump of plants with bright yellow flowers at the east edge of the driveway border. I took a closer look and was able to identify these four-foot tall plants with abundant tubular yellow flowers as Yellow False Foxglove, which is usually found growing on the upper slopes of dry wooded upland in association with white, black or red oaks.

Bumblebee entering tube of Yellow False Foxglove blossom


Since that first sighting this species has spread north and south on the east facing slopes above Brush Creek. It now completely covers the understory of one hillside. When in bloom there is a constant buzz of nectaring bumblebees as they disappear down the flower tubes to collect nectar.  I have also observed Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds feeding on the nectar. Despite the moderate drought conditions there is abundant bloom this year. That’s because Yellow False Foxglove is a hemi-parasite: it obtains water and nutrients through small feeder roots that parasitize the roots of oak trees.

Yellow Giant Hyssop


Yellow Giant Hyssop, Agastache nepetoides, is another oak savanna specialist that came into bloom this month. Limited to partial canopy conditions, I have seen it growing east of the driveway and in the West 40 savanna. But deer have been feeding on it and flowering specimens are few this year.

I am seeing more butterflies, particularly skippers each day.  Besides the abundant population of Silver-spotted and Peck’s Skippers, Delaware, Little Glassy Wing, Indigo Duskywing, Common Checkered and Dun and Swarthy Skippers are now on wing at Timberhill. Also, it is interesting to note the high percentage of black morph female Tiger Swallowtails. They are almost as numerous as the yellow female morphs.

Indigo Duskywing


Cloudless Sulphur which I usually see in the West 40 unit is on wing in the East Savanna this year. Seeing it along the trail that runs through the Southeast Woodland was a surprise.

But the biggest surprise came on August 15. I found two species of bolete mushrooms fruiting under Bur Oaks north of the house. I was certain that it had been too dry for terrestrial mushroom fruiting.  Just goes to show how unpredictable the fungi are.  One species is probably Boletus badius, the other is one I’ve never seen before. I’ll have to obtain spore prints and do a microscopic examination to identify them.

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