February 12, 2015 – Regular Monthly Meeting

February 12, 2015 – The Beautiful Baltimore Checkerspot


Speaker: Stephen Robertson, UALR


     The black-and-orange Baltimore Checkerspot is a rare beauty found in several northern Arkansas counties, where its caterpillars specialize on False Foxglove. Come learn about this striking species’ interesting life history traits that help it survive.


     While growing up in the Air Force, Stephen Robertson resided in four states, but spent the first years of his life in Aviano, Italy. He grew up with a fascination for insects. This led to studying entomology in college. He is currently an M.S. student at UALR, and intends to get a Ph.D. in Ecology with the aim of becoming a professor. Research is his great passion, and he hopes to continue doing so for as long as his body will allow.

Lake Dardanelle-Delaware Park and Holla Bend National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), January 24

Meet at 7:00 a.m. at the Mayflower commuter lot off I-40 West at Exit 135 (GPS 34.970525, -92.416489).  We’ll carpool to Delaware Park, located on the southwest side of Lake Dardanelle.  We should arrive at the Delaware Park boat ramp around 8:15 a.m. for anyone who wants to meet us there.  We’ll scan the lake for gulls, pelicans, mergansers, loons, ducks, grebes, and eagles.  A rare gull or duck is a possibility.

Next, we’ll caravan to the Holla Bend NWR headquarters’ parking lot.  There is a $4.00 entrance fee per vehicle.  A duck stamp or a National Parks pass will get a vehicle in for free.  Our target birds will be raptors, including nesting Bald Eagles, also swans, ducks, geese, and sparrows.  We’ll return to Little Rock late afternoon.  The lake can be very cold and windy.  Dress in layers, including gloves and hats.  At Holla Bend, there will be some walking in tall grass, so boots are recommended.  Bring snacks, lunch, and plenty of water.

Directions from the town of Dardanelle to Delaware Park:  At the junction of Hwy. 7 and Hwy. 22, go west on Hwy 22 approximately 10 miles.  Turn right onto Hwy. 393, which is the first road on your right after you cross the long causeway at the west end of the lake.  Hwy. 393 dead ends at Delaware Park.  GPS coordinates:  35.295749, -93.271458.  For more information about the Holla Bend NWR, go to http://www.fws.gov/hollabend/.  The headquarters is located at 10448 Holla Bend Road, Dardanelle, AR 72834.  GPS coordinates: 35.163222, -93.093477.