Monday, October 30, 2017

Our Gregg's mistflowers are finally blooming more like normal!

My two green lynx moms are still faithfully guarding their broods.

Bird poop NOT

Last week, I was in the front yard, talking photos for iNaturalist observations. Elaine, a neighbor stopped by with her dog, Roscoe. While we were visiting, we saw a two-tailed swallowtail (Papilio multicadata) eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) flitting around. After she left, I noticed the butterfly alight on the leaf of our wafer ash (Ptelea trifoliata) and curl up her abdomen (see photo above). Ah HA! She was laying an egg! 

I was right. I found that newly deposited egg and then an older egg. Then I found some caterpillars that looked like bird poop. Larva! Awesome! I took some photos and uploaded them to iNaturalist. Awhile ago, I returned with my big camera and got some more images. Aren't they all just cool?

 Oh, those orange attachments are called the osmeterium. That's a forked gland that the caterpillar extends when it feels threatened. The gland shoots out a smelly fluid as a defense mechanism. Several times, the caterpillar below pointed its osmeterium in the direction of my poking finger.

 UPDATE November 7, 2017: More photos...

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Eastern carpenter bees in love

Never know what you might see!
Eastern carpenter bees (Xylocopa virginica) courting....

(Noisy day in the neighborhood!)

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Pollen baskets by color

While out surveying the green kingdom this afternoon, I observed honey bees on the white mistflower looked different than those visiting the orangy flowers of the plateau goldeneye in our back yard. Interesting, eh? Those balls of pollen are called "pollen baskets." 

On that note, here's an interesting article I came across about "How bees carry their baggage." 

You can actually identify what a bee's been foraging on by looking at the color of her pollen baskets. Here's a cool pollen chart. (They need to add a white option!)

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Green lynx moms to be

Devoted moms guarding new life yet to be.

Passionflower blooms...

 Look at our Corona de Cristo passionflower in bloom!
I was there at the right moment to snap a photo of an eastern carpenter bee, stopping by to nectar. Today is the last day of the 2017 Texas Pollinator BioBlitz!
 Our corkstem passionflower is blooming, too.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017 Texas Pollinator BioBlitz....

 Look how much fun I'm having with the 2017 Texas Pollinator BioBlitz!

New species for us...southern skipperling!

 Another new observation in our Wildscape... mallow scrub-hairstreak.

Poor pollinator!