Monday, August 15, 2016

Winged things

I'm behind in posting photos from our Wildscape. Catch-up day since we're getting (GLORIOUS) rain! This huge swallowtail sipped awhile on our 'John Fanick' phlox July 31. Would you agree that this is an eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)? 

And look what I spotted August 3, relaxing on a tomato cage that we put around our Texas milkweed. I'm pretty sure this is a feather-legged fly (Trichopoda lanipes). The hairy back legs caught my eye so I ran into my house for the camera. I barely got these shots before it took off.

This pretty Texas hackberry emperor (Asterocampa celtis antonia) took a break on some ball moss in a live oak. (I had to get help from to correctly identify this butterfly. I originally thought it was a "plain" hackberry emperor.)
I was keeping this large wasp nest in the 'Eyelash' salvias in the back yard a secret from James until he was about to send a spray of water right in their direction. He took the news rather well and suggested that I get a photo of everybody. Which I did. These are paper wasps tending to their motherly business out of the way in the foliage and bothering no one. So that's why I figured they could stay.
We have only one yellow garden spider in our Wildscape this year. Here's a close up of her stabilimentum that runs down the middle of her orbweb. Biologists go back and forth over whether the zig-zag pattern attracts insects or helps to defend the spider. Only the spiders know for sure!

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