Posts Tagged ‘hackberry’

Spiderwort

 

Spiderwort flowers bloom among my other spring wildflowers.

Two clumps of them grow in my spring wildflower garden (between the pine and hackberry tree) where they attract small insects.

An occasionally breeze blew this flower and made it look like a flying “butterfly.”

There are several species of spiderworts (Tradescantia)

… and this one posed to have its picture taken.

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Giant Solomon’s Seal … and More

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Giant Solomon’s Seal (Commutation sp.) grows at the edge of my spring wildflower garden. The garden is between a pine and a hackberry tree, with a sweetgum to the south. The arch of the Solomon’s Seal is three feet high.

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 The flowers are 3/4 inch long.

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The three to five flowers dangle from the leaf axils.

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Then I find this caterpillar on a young wild cherry tree nearby. I have yet to identify it.

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I went back out later to take a couple more pictures. And … one of the adult ground hogs came part way out of the barn while I was still out there, which was definitely a first! They usually dart under the barn if they see me moving in the house.

What a morning!and wasn’t even 10 a.m. yet!

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An hour later I looked out the picture window, and there was a red-eared slider heading east across the back yard. it didn’t cooperate while I was out there.

What a morning!!

A Chrysalis

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I found this chrysalis on the side of our garbage container on August 10th. Its shape and design would make such a nice pendant for a necklace. I admired it every time I passed. Then, it was an empty shell on the 16th.

Its identity remained a mystery … until this afternoon. I just found out it’s the chrysalis of a hackberry emperor butterfly.

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We have several hackberry trees in our yard.

Hackberry butterflies lay their eggs in hackberry trees, and the caterpillars feed on the leaves. The adult butterflies prefer feeding on rotting fruit. They also visit moist places, fermenting fruit, tree sap, and animal droppings.

Thorny Caterpillars

Question mark butterflies lay their eggs in hackberry and elm trees.

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I just happened to be in the right place at the right time to spot these caterpillars on the underside of an elm leaf.

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The spines would definitely be a deterrent to predators.

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Question mark butterflies have a silver question mark on the underside of their hindwings. Comma butterflies are similar in appearance and have a comma on the underside of theirs.

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Question mark and comma butterflies both have a summer and a fall form. This is the fall form of the question mark. The picture above of the darker one on the rock shows the summer form

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This shows the question mark on its hindwing.

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This picture shows the fall form of the comma butterfly. I couldn’t one that showed the comma on the underneath side.

Unexplained Sparkling Mystery

We had strong storms in the evening and overnight on April 3.

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The sun shone the next morning. I sat at the computer, beside the picture window. A faint breeze “sparkled” the over-abundance of water drops in the hackberry and sweet gum trees. It gave the trees a crystalline look.

  One drop repeatedly sparkled red, like it was winking at me. A few drops also reflected red, only they were smaller and not as obvious.

  The red drop remained “drop size” when I took the picture.

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I just don’t understand how a teeny drop of water, reflecting the sunlight, could transform into this in a picture?

It never looked like this when I was watching it.

Maybe drops in the molecular structure of the water enlarged themselves for the picture?

Why?

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Another interesting component to this storm happened during the night. I was sleeping soundly when suddenly — blinding light, loud thunder boomed. I opened my eyes at the exact time of the lightning …. and saw a ball of lightning. I’d never even heard of a ball of lightning. It filled about one fourth or so of the top window, and thin lightning streaks went out in all directions from it. I was amazed, excited and went right back to sleep.

Sumac Berries

I transplanted 2 sumac trees in the lower part of our yard several years ago. They were planted especially for feeding the birds in the winter.

The only reason I think they’re healthier looking than most plants is because it’s lower back there, and they’re down from the septic field. It didn’t look like the birds have started eating them yet.

Droopy leaves on this sumac show signs of stress from the extreme heat and drought. I also wonder about the overall tree drooping.

All the berries are gone on the wild cherry trees in the yard. Leaves on all the hackberry trees are yellowish and wilty looking. Their berries are a strange color and aren’t ripe yet. I wonder if they’ll even ripen.

A flock of cedar waxwings will move in an area in the winter and stay there until all the berries are gone. Robins and bluebirds eat berries in the winter too.