So the next couple of winners are some butterflies and a spider that I saw on my walk on Sunday.
The first is of a pale yellow-brown butterfly with eyespots on it’s upper wings. I haven’t quite figured out what butterfly it is—one possibility is the common buckeye butterfly, but this one doesn’t have eyespots on the lower portion of the wings.
I managed to get two pictures of this butterfly before it flew off.
Well, it might have some pale eyespots on the bottom portion of it’s wings. That might help a little more in narrowing down the identification. I’m going to continue trying to figure out what butterfly it is, even if I have to go ask someone in entomology for help in the identification of the butterfly.
The second winner is a spider—again I have no idea what type of spider it is. While I managed to get a couple of decent pictures, I didn’t get any good ones with identification marks to compare to pictures to get an identification of it—I just know that I’m very careful in walking around trees and bushes at the lake in the morning so that I hopefully don’t walk through any spider webs.
This spider had made it’s web in between branches on a tree that close to the water. Nice place to catch evening bugs. And then the final winner is….
The third winner is another viceroy butterfly that was flying around one of the points at the lake. The way to tell the difference between the viceroy and the monarch butterfly is that the viceroy butterfly has the black stripe on the bottom part of it’s wings (monarchs lack that stripe).
Hopefully the weather will behave and I will be able to walk around Boomer Lake again this coming weekend and see what birds, mammals, reptiles, and insects are round this coming weekend.
So the winner of today’s photography challenge are the flowers of the chive plant, and the numerous different insects that have visited them so far.
There have been numerous different insects on the chive flowers so far, though I haven’t been keeping count (or actually watch for a specific amount of time).
This summer I’ve seen a couple of different wasps, and some flies. I’m pretty sure that the butterflies are coming through–just not that often when I’m around with my camera.
So it looks like some of the wasps were also potentially mating on the flowers as well–I thought that this was a really weird looking wasp. Once I got the pictures on the computer–it looks likes two wasps (or other flying insects) potentially were mating (or one was cannibalizing the other).
Though this one butterfly did come through the yard on Saturday, and stopped on the flowers long enough for me to get a couple of pictures of it. I also think that this is the silvery checkerspot butterfly (more on this in another post).
So with these different random holidays, I’ve decided that I can also work them into the photography challenge either with newly taken pictures or newly shared pictures. The butterflies are falling into the second category–newly shared pictures.
So besides being π day,
it is also National Learn About Butterflies Day (and since it is a random
unofficial holiday—no one knows exactly who to credit with the day). Since
spring and summer are (hopefully) right around the corner, mid-March seems like
a good time to investigate the wonder and beauty that are butterflies.
One place that people can go to learn about butterflies are butterfly gardens. Most large cities have at least one major butterfly garden (and they’re usually associated with zoos or museums). I enjoyed the one at the Science Museum in Boston, and that is actually now a new goal—to see how many other butterfly gardens I can visit in different cities.
So what are some cool
facts about butterflies?
There are over than 20,000 types of butterflies worldwide.
Their wingspans can range from 1/2 inch to 11 inches. So they range from fairly small to fairly large.
Some butterflies mimic the coloring of others to avoid being eaten (Viceroy butterflies mimic the monarch butterfly)
Adult butterflies can live from a week to nearly a year, depending on the species.
Many butterflies migrate over long distances. The most well-known butterfly migration is the monarch butterfly. It winters in Mexico, and then heads to the northern US and southern Canada.
To help butterflies (and bees) out, one can plant different flowers in their garden, and even different herbs as well. To help the monarch butterfly out one can plant milkweed (it gives them their off taste that keeps predators from eating them). The best thing to do is to ensure that the garden has flowers throughout the seasons (spring, summer and fall). I’m going to be trying to get more flowers out into the yard this spring and summer to see what type of butterflies I can attract.
The winner for today’s photography challenge was the Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly that fluttered through the backyard. What’s funny about the name—the butterfly is actually black with blue or blue-green scaling with orange or red marks towards the tips of the wings.
This range of the red-spotted purple butterfly is normally the eastern United States (basically from the Gulf Coast up to southern Canada). Within this range it can be seen in woodlands and along streams and creeks. We’re lucky in that we live next to a creek that still has some live cottonwoods along it there are also poplars and oaks in the neighborhood as well. The lifecycle of red-spotted purples is like any other butterfly or moth: egg, caterpillar (which is the longest), pupa, and then adult. I wonder if there are any other pupas ready to hatch and flutter around the area.
I’m hoping to see more butterflies as the summer slowly blends into autumn and some of these beautiful creatures start to migrate towards their winter homes down south.
So I realized that trying to get outside and getting a new picture taken for today probably wasn’t going to happen (and I was right). I didn’t really notice anything that caught my attention this morning walking to the bus stop, and it was too warm for me to take a walk on campus during my lunch hour to figure out what I want a picture of.
So the winners of the drawing for the posting tonight went to the insects that I managed to get pictures of last week.
While we aren’t quite in the middle of dragonfly migration season, we have been having several darting through the yard over the past several weeks. This one was one of the larger ones, and seemed to enjoy taking a break on the wires in the backyard. I find them so fascinating to see how they dart around and times you almost can’t see them.
We then had this little one visit the yard the other day:
This little one had more of a blue-green body and a thinner pair of wings.
Then there have been numerous moths and butterflies going through the yard as well.
It took me almost five minutes debating with myself on whether or not I was taking a picture of a piece of bark, when I realized that it was just a very well camouflaged moth.
And the final entry goes to the elusive yellow butterfly that I managed to get a picture of as it was flying over the house. I had been trying to get a picture of this one for probably about 15 to 20 minutes (managed to get several of it at an angle), when it darted out of the yard, and I manged to capture this picture.
One of the things that I want to also start getting better at is the identification of what I’m taking a picture of–I’m pretty good at bird identification, and now I want to get better at being able to identify different insects and plants as well.