Posts Tagged ‘adults’

A Two-Day Feast

This all started when an adult bald eagle landed in the field across the highway from our house. I hurried out on the porch to take its picture.

It took flight and flew right over me!

A little later, turkey vultures started flying into the field. The brown ones are immature, and the adults are black.

I had no idea what there was for them to eat … probably carrion.

I’m not sure if the light brown animal shape in front of the middle bird was carrion or a mound of dirt.

It looked like one of them wasn’t happy.

Other groups flew in too. They were scattered about in the 15-acre field.

I got as close to them as I could. That meant sneaking along the shrub border of our yard.

They seemed to be otherwise occupied. The two in this picture with the light wing tips are adults.

They were here for parts of two days.

The eagle wasn’t about to miss out on anything and was the last to leave.

The adult eagle, and a young eagle flew into a tree across the highway from our house. They didn’t stay long before they flew off to the northwest

… and haven’t been back since.

A Snout Butterfly

The picture window by my computer offers a good view of this huge hackberry tree.

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Hackberry trees are one of the host plants for the caterpillar of the snout butterfly.

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Their name “snout” refers to the elongated mouth parts (labial palpi).

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They lay their eggs singly in hackberry trees (Celtis sp.). The adults also visit flowers, mud puddles and other moist areas. The one above was nectaring on catmint (Nepeta sp.) in the garden.

Kestrel Fledglings

Day before yesterday was such an exciting day after I found out kestrels were nesting in the redbud tree in our front yard. A young elm crowds redbud.

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It would be quiet for a while and then get noisy. All I saw were the two adults. I photographed all I could.

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Then, then I went out the next morning and watched an adult feeding the young ones. I couldn’t see them, just the female. The male was always close-by watching for intruders.

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Later the fledglings were happy to be out and able to explore,

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and think about the skills they have to learn.

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I just snapped and snapped pictures.

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They seemed to be brave little things.

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I’m glad I got all these pictures because they were all gone yesterday, June 6th.

… and they are missed.

 

A Ladybug

Ladybugs overwinter as adults.

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My first ladybug of the year just happened to be on a purple trillium in my spring wildflower garden.

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It must be either the pine or the hackberry tree that’s dropping all the pollen.

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Ladybugs overwinter as adults. Here’s a picture I took March of 2012 in the bluff at Stone Face. This definitely wasn’t anywhere near all of them!

Carpenter Bees

Buffy and I walked a loop around the yard before we went inside. The sun was near setting.

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Carpenter bees were busy. I wasn’t sure if were looking for something or doing it.

The barn was built when the original house was here. We’ve lived here forty-plus years, and it was old when we bought the house.

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Carpenter bees are often confused with bumblebees. Both are about the same size. Carpenter bees build their nest in wood, and bumblebees nest underground. Male carpenter bees have a whitish spot on the front of their face, which wasn’t evident in the evening light.

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Carpenter bees are not social insects. They construct their nests in trees or in eaves of a house by drilling in the wood. These are the adults emerging from the nests. They overwintered in tunnels as adults.

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 The barn sure has a lot of character. Besides the foxes living under it, a pair of eastern phoebe flycatchers nest in it too.

One of Nature’s Artists

A small dead branch, about 7 feet long, had fallen out of dawn redwood tree in my backyard. It had been dead long enough for all the bark to fall off.

This exposed signs of bark beetle activities underneath.

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Bark beetles are teeny insects that bore through the bark, and the larvae feed in the layer of wood between the bark and the limb. Most of them overwinter as mature larvae. They then pupate in the spring. The adults either remain in the tree, or bore out of it and fly to new trees.

The particular species in the picture above, the female makes a channel in the wood with niches on each side. She then lays an egg in each niche. The larvae eat the wood out from the main tunnel.

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Some species of bark beetles spend their whole life inside the tree. I wonder if this one did that? The larger hole and the shape of the chamber seem to indicate it did.

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We can follow the life and growth of this bark beetle by the chamber (shown in this and the four following pictures).

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The tunnel gradually widens as it curves along.

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A zig and a zag as the larva continues.

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It seemed to grow rapidly and maybe change its eating habits somewhat (with the quickly widening of the chamber).

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With the bark missing I can only speculate that the beetle bored out through the bark and either stayed in this tree or flew to another one.

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This shows some of the bark beetle activity near the base of the small limb.

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Then I remembered another bark beetle tunnel … in a piece of petrified wood I found years ago in an outcrop on the side of a road.

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It’s not the best preservation, but it does have the identifying details. The underside of the rock shows the thin bark of the wood.

Wheel Bug Nymph

I kept thinking “wheel bug” while taking pictures of this bug. Wheel bugs have a prominent semicircular crest on their thorax.

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Apparently, this one isn’t an adult yet. It was feeding on a soldier beetle.

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I took this picture in early July of 2009.

Wheel bugs have one generation a year and overwinter as eggs. One website stated that the wheel bug’s bite is usually worse than a bee sting. Both nymphs and adults should be avoided.