Today was the first time I monitored since my good friend Ruta passed away.
The Metroparks has agreed to allow her family to bury her ashes in Oak Openings and we took time to locate an appropriate place in Campbell Prairie.
Ruta loved Campbell Prairie and was not happy when told she was not allowed to monitor there without special permission after Karner Blue butterflies were introduced several years ago. She would confide to me that she would sneak in from time to time without permission.
Ruta will be in good company.
The Metroparks has given permission only once before for ashes to be buried in the parks - and that was for Lou Campbell and his wife.
We used Ruta's handwritten maps to locate the Canada Frostweed.
The maps are scanned onto our iPad, which we have used for the last several years. Ruta was not fond of the iPad, preferring to jot down counts and associated species on scraps of paper she stuffed into her pockets.
She would have found it amusing that our documentation app was not working today and we kept our notes - once again - on paper.
The Karner Blue population has been struggling and we didn't see any today. The meadow was aflutter with hundreds of Great Spangled Fritillaries, though.