Archive for the ‘Insects’ Category

Wonders Never Cease

 Common Milkweed

Four common milkweed plants grow beside the back garage (which will be torn down this summer).

A few insects visit the flowers,

and a white crab spider hides on the underneath side of one of the leaves. The spider can change colors to match the color of the flower it’s on.

Monarch Chrysalis

On one of my walks around the backyard looking for spiders, I found a monarch butterfly chrysalis in an old garage that will be torn down soon.

I watched the chrysalis— daily, waiting for the butterfly to emerge.

Then the chrysalis turned slightly darker.  I expected the butterfly to emerge soon … It did, but I wasn’t there to watch it.

Obelisk Position

I was out early this morning for my daily spider hunt.

Then I got side tracked by this dragonfly in its obelisk position. This position reduces the amount of sun/heat on the dragonfly.

Strange Spider Web

This dead pear tree has quite a history.

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Now it houses a spider whose web is about 3 feet high in the tree.

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The silk is so fine the web would be hard to spot if it wasn’t for the “stuff” in it. The “stuff” looks like sawdust. Woodpeckers do visit the tree and “sawdust” would fall when there was activity above … or the spider added it when spinning the web.

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These three pictures of the web weren’t taken on the same day.

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It was an active place when the tree was alive and producing fruit. I have no idea what’s included in the “stuff” in the line … unless it’s somehow young spiders. (They are spider egg cases.)

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The pears would rot and drop when the tree was alive. The rotten fruit then attracted many, many butterflies and other insects  too.

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Red-spotted purple butterflies visited flowers.

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The viceroy resembles a monarch, only the monarch lacks the extra black band on the hindwing.

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Besides the rotten fruit, the hackberry butterflies will also visit animal droppings and carrion.

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A question mark butterfly joined the hackberries. If you look close, you’ll see a faint gold upside-down question mark in the middle of its hindwing.

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The buckeye butterflies have an eye spot on the top of the forewing and two spots of different sizes on their hindwing.

I plan to enjoy the pear tree until it’s all fallen down.

A Snout Butterfly

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A snout butterfly (Libytheana carinenta) flew into my butterfly garden and landed near me.

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It’s obvious it got its name from the long labial palps (mouth parts on either side of its proboscis).

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It looks like it’s been a while since the ragged butterfly emerged.

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They have a 1 3/8 to 2 inch wingspan and lay their eggs in hackberry trees (several grow in our yard.)

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 It flew away to I don’t know where.

Yum Yum

I wrote this blog earlier and didn’t get it posted. I’d rather post it now instead of waiting until next summer.

This is one of my favorite times of the year, when the fruit rots when I put it out for the butterflies. Some summers the butterfly numbers are low, and others they’re just the opposite.

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The one above is a question mark. You can tell by the small gold question mark on the underside of its hindwing.

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Tawny emperor (a ragged one)

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The red admiral butterfly has visited the rotting fruit. It didn’t pose for a picture, so I had to find one in my picture files.

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Red spotted purple

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Most are hackberry butterflies.

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Five tawny emperors, one viceroy (orange one that resembles a monarch butterfly), and a red spotted purple. There’s usually butterflies on the fruit for several hours, unless it’s raining.

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Their numbers continued to increase until now when only  10 – 15 visit a day

Sedum Visitors

I’m back! We’ve had company, and they kept me busy a lot of the time. The best medicine after they left was to walk around the yard, checking what and who’s here, and what’s blooming.

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  The monarch butterfly and

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the painted lady both like the sedum.

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The silver-spotted skipper is quite a common skipper. They visit a variety of flowers.

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The clouded Sulphur also likes the sedums. It’s obvious I have a lot of sedum, and a lot of butterflies in a good butterfly year in my gardens.

 I know there’s been others I’ve missed while entertaining company.