Posts Tagged Wildlife
In the normal course of events, this critter would become an undistinguished brown moth:
Right now, it’s a two-day-old cross-striped cabbageworm. Its kin are voracious consumers of Brassicacae out in the garden and Mary’s raising it as a show-n-tell exhibit for her Master Gardener compadres; she advised it to not start any long novels.
Taken hand-held with the Pixel XL through a clip-on 10x macro lens.
The Monarch Butterfly egg produced a teeny caterpillar:
Each time it molts, it eats all of its skin except for the transparent cap over the first body segment:
If the rest of the caterpillar were behind the windshield, it’d be feet-upward with its “face” at the top.
The picture comes from a focus-stacked set of microscope images captured with VLC; I turned the positioner’s elevation knob the smallest possible amount between each of 16 images along the 1 mm (-ish) height of the capsule. This magic incantation applies more weight to high-contrast and high-entropy regions:
align_image_stack -C -a monarch vlcsnap-2017-08-09-18h4* enfuse --contrast-weight=0.8 --entropy-weight=0.8 -o Monarch_Windshield.jpg monarch00* # empty line to reveal underscores in previous line
That came out pretty well.
The main cicada season has only begun, so these two may have emerged slightly too early:
They’re completely harmless, but definitely don’t look it:
Their topside armor would look great on a robot:
Found ’em dead on the driveway, alas.
We watched a female Monarch Butterfly lay eggs on the stand of milkweed behind the house. She also found a lone plant in the vegetable garden that’s now standing in a vase on the kitchen table where we can keep an eye on the proceedings.
So far, so good:
I never knew Monarch eggs were so elaborate!
Captured with the VGA-resolution USB camera atop the zoom microscope, with VLC applying automagic gamma and level adjustment.
Focus-stacking the three best images helps the ribs toward the leaf, but not by much:
After picking out the images, all of which bear VLC’s auto-generated names like
vlcsnap-2017-07-29-09h26m25s720.png, stack them thusly:
align_image_stack -C -a milkweed *png enfuse -o Monarch.jpg milkweed000*
Tinkering with the options might improve things, but … maybe next time.
Either Mama Frog picked a bad location or these little critters fell over the edge, as I found a handful in the big stainless steel bowl Mary uses for spot-watering some of her plantings:
The bowl curves inward over their heads and their feet didn’t seem sticky enough to get them up and out, so I dumped the lot of them into the flower bed. May they live long & prosper!
We found this critter keeping a watchful eye on the construction at Adams Fairacre Farms during our most recent grocery trip:
I think it’s an undocumented alien that entered the US stowed away in a tropical plant, because it was affixed to the array of ceramic pots outside their (open) greenhouse windows:
To the best of my admittedly limited herpetological knowledge, none of our native lizards / geckos / whatever have such a distinctive dorsal frill / fin / ridge. I have no idea how to look the critter up, though.
We left it to seek its own destiny. Unless it’s a mated female (hard to tell with lizards), it’ll have a lonely life.
Perhaps it practices rishratha, which is entirely possible.
The heron hurked the fish down, with the abrupt right-angle bend in its neck marking the fish’s current location:
A bit of wiggling & jiggling put the meal in the right place and the bird relaxed:
A postprandial flight around the pond apparently settled the fish:
It landed on a snag a few dozen feet from where it started, then proceeded to look regal:
Those things really do look like pterodactyls in flight!