Spark of Color

I don’t know about you, but I could use a spark of color in the middle of this Arctic weather.

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So, this picture with a painted lady butterfly on a summer farewell aster

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certainly offers sparks of color.

A Cloudless Sulphur Butterfly


The last cloudless sulphur butterfly (Phoebis sennae eubule) I saw was on September 29.


It preferred the red salvia flowers.

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They migrate north through the summer to breed and return to the south in the fall. This translates into their numbers varying yearly.

Kenilworth Ivy

A patch of Kenilworth ivy (Cymbalaria aequitriloba) grows by the door on the north side of our house. It’s a family heirloom handed down from my great grandmother, who lived in New York. The vine is native to Spain and southern parts of Europe.

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We’ve had the freezing temperatures from the large Arctic front that moved through southern Illinois.

Obviously, the cold hasn’t affected the ivy.

Asiatic Day Flower

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The last Asiatic day-flower (Commelina communis)  bloomed in my yard almost a month ago. It added a spark of blue then, and adds a spark of blue to today’s winter-like cloudy, windy day.

Crab Spider


Crab spiders come in different sizes, with females being the largest.

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The angle of the sunlight made this one easy to spot.

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Shadows later made it much less conspicuous.

Pupa Remains

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I posted a blog late summer about the caterpillar of a white-marked tussock moth.

Later, I had a “duh” moment when I remembered taking the picture below.

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This is a pupal case of the White-marked tussock moth (Orgyia leucsotigma). My Caterpillars of Eastern North America book shows a picture of an empty cocoon, the same as the one above. My picture lacks the egg mass. Apparently the flightless female lays up to 300 eggs in a froth-covered mass over the cocoon. They overwinter in the egg stage.

Two Immature Insects

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The larval stage of a ladybug definitely doesn’t resemble an adult ladybug.

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The pupal stage more resembles an adult.

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A stinkbug nymph is definitely more ornate

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than the adult green stinkbug.


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