This is just one of many species of blue butterflies. I have never learned to identify each one but that doesn’t keep me from enjoying them. Some times I see dozens of them gathered together on damp soil apparently consuming moisture or maybe minerals.
Imagine my surprise when I stepped out onto the lawn this afternoon and encountered this little creature. After all, this is the 8th of December and most critters of this type have been in their winter quarters for some time. This species is known as Isabella Tiger Moth Pyrrharctia isabella commonly called Wooly Bear. They hibernate over winter. Special chemicals in their system protect them should they freeze. According to folklore the narrow orange band around the middle indicates a severe winter ahead. A broad band would have indicated a mild winter. Broad band, narrow band, mild weather, severe winter, I think this little guy should have been in his bed weeks ago.
We could see three American Dipper nestlings in the nest on the underside of a bridge. The parents were busy ferrying food to the hungry mouths. It looks like they’re getting butterfly for desert.
A Western Meadowlark with food for her nestlings. I’m glad that I don’t have a steady diet of insects.
Dragonflies have always fascinated me. However I’ve never bothered to learn the names of the many different species. I’ve photographed a few of them. About a week ago I attended a potluck luncheon in the outdoors. During the course of the meal this friendly critter (dragonfly) flew in. With my trusty camera always at the ready I squeezed off this photo. It didn’t seem to be interested in our food but posed long enough for the photographer.
I enjoy shooting photos of flowers. They stand still. You don’t need a blind. They are also very beautiful. There are several stands of Gloriosa Daisies in our yard. They burst into magnificent beauty this time of year. I also like to include wildlife in the picture. Notice the bee on the lower center blossom.
These Summer days are now hot. To cool off a bit I find a place in the shade, relax and enjoy the critters that visit my yard. A few days ago I decided to capture one of the many butterflies that flitted among the flowers nearby. I used no special settings for the camera. I generally just point and shoot. This Two-tailed Swallowtail may be disguished from the Western Tiger Swallowtail by its extra pair of shorter tails.
These are apparently some species of yellowjacket. These insects do not have a wasp-like body so I call them yellowjackets. They have built their paper nest on a bluebird nest. The bluebird nestlings have long since abandoned their natal home so the insects did not interupt anything. During active bluebird nesting I generally don’t have a problem with stinging insects. However should a wasp, yellowjacket, bee or hornet occupy a box before a bird moves in the bird avoids the box. This is why it is always a good plan to check the box frequently at the beginning of the nesting season. I much prefer bluebirds over insects!
Ah, summer! It is the time of year when nature is at her best. After giving birth in the spring to flowers, shrubs, animals and insects this new life grows and matures. The vast array of shapes, forms and colors is manifest. Beauty surrounds us, be aware.
Here we have an Anise Swallowtail Papilio zelicaon butterfly busily searching for and extracting nectar from a flower.
I’m sure glad our mosquitos are not all this big!