Flutterbys and more Buzzy things

Today I did something I don’t often do. I got up before 9am. I even made breakfast hash by 8. Yes, it was an amazing day. I also had the chance to plant some seeds and take some nice pictures for you before the wildflowers turn brown and crispy like someone hit them with a blowtorch. April and May are glorious in Texas. June is getting ‘meh’, and from July through September, the grass blades are so dry and crunchy that it’s like stepping on glass shards. It’s the time of year I am willing to move ANYWHERE that has rain. But since we still have flowers, I still have some pretty pictures for you!

First off is the very rare Maydelle Carpet butterfly.

Kidding.

Yes, my dogs peed on my entrance rug and apparently this poor, misguided butterfly enjoyed it. I would think nectar would be nicer, but what do I know? So while I was waiting to finish the rest of the laundry so I could wash a ‘dog’ load, this little critter decided to stop and sniff the dog rug. Whatever. This is called a Red Spotted Purple:

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Mmmmm, urine! (((shudder))) Okay, the rug had already dried out, so let’s just hope it was something else.

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In another disturbing butterfly pic, we have a Spicebush Swallowtail feeding on my compost pile. Gosh, you probably only thought they ate nectar! Sorry to spoil your beautiful butterfly images.

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After the “Finding Butterflies on Disgusting Things” session, I moved over to the flowers. Here we have a weird, green eyed buzzy thing. It had huuuge green eyes and looked bee-ish.

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Now we have a carpenter bee on some white arrowhead clover. This is very popular with the monarchs and some of the bees so I am glad that it reseeded so well.

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This little pollinator was super tiny and adorably coated in pollen.

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Now this pretty green ‘bee thing’ is, I believe, a sweat bee. It’s a terrible name for such a beautiful critter. Why not the Viridescent bee or the Emerald bee? Sweat bee? Seriously?

Yes, they are attracted to human sweat. He was either too interested in this flower to notice me, or maybe it was just that my sweat smells like bacon? I’m not sure. (YES I EAT A LOT OF BACON. JUST SAYING.)

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And now we come to our friend, the honeybee. You will see the orange things on her rear legs. This is called “pollen baskets” and the little bee stores the pollen she collects right there on her legs until she gets back to the hive. Pretty awesome, don’t you think? Scroll up and you will also notice that the sweat bee has them, too. I am always glad to see bees with full pollen baskets!

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s garden tour! Well, I’m off to eat a BLT, heavy on the mayo. But not before I wash my dog rugs!!!

Callapitters and buzzy things

***If you are a long-time reader of my blog, you will notice that I have changed formats. I wanted to put a larger emphasis on my photos. Let me know what you think in the comments! Thanks for reading! ***

No matter how long I live on this piece of property, I will never cease to be amazed at the sheer magnitude of the biodiversity that inhabits this fifteen acres. As a passionate learner of things, I have to tip my hat to a wondrous God who has knit all of these living creatures together into this planet that we call Earth.

Springtime in Texas offers some great opportunities to take beautiful pictures. Whether it’s the wildflowers, the landscape, or the critters that dwell within, you can get some nice photos if you are patient (and lucky) enough.

One of the critters that I have always loved are the caterpillars. When I was little, I would catch the ‘webworms’ (Eastern Tent caterpillars) that fellĀ from the trees. To me, they looked like tiny, living Oriental rugs. As I grew up, I was sad to discover that they would happily defoliate my fruit trees. However, I still love to pick them up and marvel at those little living rainbows.

One of the caterpillars I see frequently are those of the White-Marked Tussock Moth (Orgyia leucostigma). These remind me of the Chinese Lion dancers’ costumes with their lacquered red heads, fuzzy protuberances, and poofy backs.

I found this little guy on our tomato plants yesterday. Since I have sensitive skin, I don’t handle caterpillars bare-handed except for the tent caterpillars, which I know don’t affect me. Even caterpillars who don’t have poisonous or irritating spines can cause skin reactions in sensitive people (like ME). Still, it is noted that this caterpillar may cause allergic reactions in some people according to my guide book. So, gloves it is!

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Now, see if you don’t agree with me on the Chinese Lion thing!

Now for some more garden critter photos!

I took about twenty shots before I got this lazy honeybee to NOT stick her bee butt into the lens rather than her face. I like that I was able to get her feeding on the nectar. Patience pays off!

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Here is a photo that I’ve been waiting years to snap. This is a Grey Hairstreak butterfly (Strymon melinus). They can be flighty little things, which is why I could never get a good shot. Again, patience won when I found these lazy guys on my standing cypress flowers:

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I hope you enjoyed your guided bug tour for today!