Archive for July, 2013

Red Honeysuckle Visitors

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Red honeysuckle attracts more than hummingbirds.

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It attracts spiders, like this young garden spider,

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and this daddy-longlegs that looks tucked in a safe place for the night.

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 Green caterpillars blend in well with all the greens. It’s a caterpillar of the snowberry clearwing, a day-flying moth that mimics bumblebees.

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Caterpillars breath through spiracles, the black “spots” along its side. Its actual legs are the three black pairs by the head.

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Three pairs of prolegs  occur in the middle of the body. The “hairs” on each are called crochets which help the caterpillar to hold on.

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 A smaller caterpillar dined in the evening. 

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The snowberry clearwing moth. 

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A Damselfly

I can’t believe I spotted this tiny damselfly.

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Its abdomen looked copper colored in the light. The fake eyespots on the back of its head would sure look convincing to any predator, even though the damselfly measured an inch at the most.

Spiders in the Night

Every time I come in

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from taking orb pictures in the backyard

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I see spiders on the side of the house. They’re either in their web, repairing it or building one. A quick flashlight-count found 29 of various sizes.

None of the spiders are on their webs during the day.

Emerging Dragonflies

 

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My small water garden can be a hub of activity at times.

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I generally do a search for frogs. This particular morning in late May, I just happened to be there at the right time to find 3 dragonflies emerging.

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Their color changed as they dry.

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I went out 3 times in 1 1/2 hours to take pictures. This means I made loops of the water garden in both directions to take them … and had me thoroughly confused when picking out pictures for this blog.

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This one worried me because its abdomen wasn’t straight.  .

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I figured that it would straighten as it dried. 

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Mushrooms

Damp conditions along the dry creek intensified the colors of the mushrooms.

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Amanitas, deadly poisonous mushrooms, have an universal veil that originally enclosed the cap. It hangs below the cap in this picture.

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This mushroom is also an amanita. Pieces of the universal veil remains on the caps of some amanitas. They also grow from a cup. The ring of it shows at the base of the stalk.

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My first thought when I saw the shape of this mushrooom was “scoop.”

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Cooperative Pair

Finally,

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a bluet damselfly landed on a object big enough for my camera to focus on,

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and an eastern-tailed blue butterfly rested on a leaf a few feet away.

 

Eastern Phoebe

I was taking a “down” as my grandparents called it — an afternoon nap.

An eastern phoebe repeated its name over and over from a tree outside the window. From its flatter tone, I knew it was one of the immatures in the yard.

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All these pictures were taken a few days ago. The brown color indicates an immature.

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The phoebes nested twice in our barn this summer, and this one is from the last brood.

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One of the parents “perched guard” over the young in the picture above. Notice the color difference.

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This is the first eastern phoebe picture I took on March 15th. The female built her nest on the side of a beam in the barn. The pair used that nest for their second brood too.

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The nestlings were 1 or 2 days old in this picture taken on May 3.

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And the last picture of the first brood was taken on May 16! 

My, how they grew!