Posts Tagged Wildlife
These vultures decided to hang out high atop our neighbor’s tree during a recent day-long rainstorm:
There may be a third vulture on the branch behind the big clump of pine cones near the trunk.
This seems about as disgusted as a vulture can appear:
I think that’s a young vulture, without the red face of more mature specimens.
They spent most of the day there, then flew off about their business. We’re sure they spent most of the next day drying out.
Taken with the (new-to-me) DSC-H5 and 1.7× teleadapter; no extra charge for the purple fringes.
Moth 1, with wonderful antenna fringes identifying him as a male:
Moth 2, a female with smaller antenna:
Moth 3, another male:
The underside is diagnostic (ignore the crud on the aquarium glass):
We set each one on the goldenrod plant inside the garden gate, whereupon they charged up in the sun for an hour or so, then flew off about their business. They may eat a few leaves in the garden, but they’re not particularly harmful to anything and entitled to a peaceful life.
I must organize all their pictures into a life history.
This eight-pointer was one of two browsing in the back-yard grove:
The other was a mere four-pointer. In a few weeks they’ll get all feisty and browse the grove in shifts.
The notion of a “suburban hunting license”, perhaps with crossbows, may eventually gain traction.
A few days later, Mary awoke to a great clattering caused by a buck fighting free of the slot between the garden’s mesh “deer fence” and the neighbor’s wood fence, flattening the corner post in the process. A similar encounter a few years ago ended poorly.
Each of the three Mystery Caterpillars wandered around the aquarium for a few minutes, found a spot surrounded by leaves, and tucked themselves into their cocoons.
The smallest one went first and probably got the best site:
The medium one:
The largest caterpillar munched the leaf around the new cocoon and removed some of the silk (?) wrapper. It looks like the caterpillar’s fur falls off and becomes insulation inside the wrapper.
The large one with mostly black fur managed to bind two leaves together:
The Monarch remained calm, well above the scramble:
The caterpillar’s skin (or whatever it is) remained loosely attached to the outside.
All of which puts me in mind of Della Lu:
PROJECTION WILL SELF-ENCLOSE.
I wonder what they’re thinking after they type
Y E S …
Mary spotted it on the outside of the window screen in the front bathroom. We watched it for ten minutes as it strolled around the screen, all the while keeping at least one compound eye aimed at us.
If humans were half as tall, those things would be terrifying!
This being caterpillar season, we put a mystery egg mass on a Swiss Chard leaf into a small container:
I think the darker egg was a dud, because two days later they all hatched and ate their egg cases, leaving that one behind:
Mary deported them to the trash, put two on a leaf in an aquarium on the kitchen table, and, eight days later:
They’ve been chowing down on spare garden greenery; unlike Monarchs, they eat what’s set before them.
One has dark “fur”:
The second is lighter:
A third caterpillar escaped the trash can apocalypse and also resides in the aquarium, albeit stunted by its ordeal:
They’re too bristly to be Wooly Bears. I’m sure they’ll turn into nondescript brown moths.
With a population density like that, the plant doesn’t stand a chance:
A few hours later, they were gone and so were the leaves! Presumably, they’re traveling across the ground to the adjacent milkweed plants; one or two may find our patio.
Despite all the egg-laying we saw, we haven’t seen any Monarch caterpillars out there.