Predator – Butterfly

Several pearl crescent butterflies visit the sedum plants in the moon garden.

They concentrate more on eating than watching out for predators.

It’s hard to see from the angle of the camera that there’s a predator behind the wings on the right. This time it’s an ambush bug.

  The ambush bugs are only up to 1/2 inch long, and can change color to match the color of the flower they’re on.

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Orb Webs

Spider numbers began increasing in July).

Their webs come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The spider is in the center of this web.

Another spider spun this orb web, attaching the end points of two lobes of the leaf. I didn’t check to see if I could find the spider. It would probably be too small to see.

This web looks like the spider was in a hurry to finish the web,

and this one wanted seclusion.

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Pewee

An eastern wood pewee, a flycatcher, landed on a stick on our cistern.

Notice the pale yellow low on the front of its belly. It also lacks eye rings,

It sure looks like it has an attitude with me watching it (from inside the house).

A pewee call’s a whistled “pee-a-wee.”

I do hope it sets up residence in our yard, or returns at some point this summer.

Blue Dasher

The numbers of butterflies and dragonflies were extremely low in southern Illinois last summer.

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I think this dragonfly was a male blue dasher.

I don’t need a name to enjoy things I find. Just the discovery and observations are enough … plus taking pictures if it cooperates.

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This widow skimmer landed right in front of me. I took this to mean it wanted in the blog too.

Dandelions

It’s obvious why there are so many dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) around the yard.

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Each flowerhead produces a LOT of seeds …

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with a little help from the insects.

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Wind disperses the

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the parachute – like seeds.

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Each dandelion flowerhead contains both female and male flowers.

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Dandelions don’t actually need wind or insects to pollinate the flowers. If you look close at a female flower and follow it down, you’ll see that they each of them is in a tube. The tube is the male flower. So, the female flower becomes pollinated as it grows out through the male flower.

African Violet Surprise

I have three African violets that originally belonged to my grandmother. She passed away several years ago, and her violets” moved” to southern Illinois where they now live in three different houses.

 One of the violets surprised me by having a tiny yellow mushroom growing under the plant, near the edge of the flowerpot.

  During all these years of caring for the violets, I’d never seen a mushroom growing with one.

The mushroom was quick to open, and was much smaller than I expected.

 

When I first found the mushroom, it was tiny … only 1/8th of an inch in diameter.

I’m sure I still have more to learn about African violets.

 

 

 

The Cooper’s Hawk Came Back

The Cooper’s hawk returned to our yard this morning. It first came here on July 7 and stayed most of the time until the 19th.

Today is August 12th, and it’s back.

It seems to be getting used to our backyard.

When it’s in the yard, its presence reduces the number of birds in the area.

A few birds still continue to visit our yard.

… The hawk just flew across our backyard. I hadn’t seen it all day.

  It will be interesting to see how long it stays in the neighborhood this time.

You can tell by this picture that it can easily stay hidden in the thicket in the back corner of our yard, unless it flies.