Archive for September, 2014

Tobacco Budworm

These caterpillars are feeding on flowering tobacco (Nicotiana sylvestris)

There’s an obvious reason why these moth caterpillars are called tobacco budworms!

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Each one feeds with it head in a hole that it made in a bud.

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The caterpillars vary in size and

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and in color.

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Their feeding method keeps me chuckling every time I’m among them.

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Obviously, nature has a sense of humor too.

Nothing in Nature…

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Nothing in nature goes to waste.

Bird’s Nest Fungi

There’s advantages to weeding in the garden ….

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like finding these bird’s nest fungi.


I’ve found them many times over the years …. I’ve just never found them growing in an old rotting gumball.


This unopened cup measured roughly a quarter-inch in diameter.

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A strip of rotting wood laid near a wall and had the birds’ nest fungi too.

The eggs contain the spores.

Fiery Skipper

Sedums are one of the busiest butterfly/insect attractors in the yard.


 A male fiery skipper  (Hylephila phyleus) was too busy feeding on the sedums to pay much attention to me.


It made its way around from one flower to the next. The female’s pattern tends to be darker. Their size ranges between 1.0 – 1.4 inches.


They don’t call them “skippers” for nothing — some can “skip” out of sight without even seeing them leave.

Effects of Sunlight

The angle the sunlight enhanced the appearance of this question mark butterfly.





Wait a Minute Here!

Hey! I was here first!!

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I thought I was seeing things. The bee flew off.

The dark on the monarch’s right front wing is shadow from the flowers. It looked so unnatural.

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The monarch looked just like it does in the picture. I’d never seen one so dark, and wondered if it was slightly melanistic.

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The three small dark spots are insects flying to visit the sedums. They were a busy place!

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The monarch flew to another clump of sedums after this picture.

Two Unknowns

I found these once before, a few years ago. I can’t remember what they are and haven’t found them online.


They aren’t a caterpillar. They just look like one.


They preferred the undersides of the leaves for safety reasons.


Many leaves on the vine were rolled.


The pictures were taken three weeks ago.  The top two in this picture had recently molted.


I’m not even sure what kind of vine this is.

It’s a shame their name isn’t a pattern on their back.

I welcome any information concerning this mystery.

A Spider Hiding

I’m not sure of  the spider terminology involved in this web.


A spider constructed a rolled or curved-leaf web. It looked to be a two-room nest. You can see the end of its abdomen in the lower part of the left slit. It looked to be either a two-room nest or a hall-like structure.


The backside had a completely different appearance, with no escape possible.


I think it got tired of me and went lower in the web to hide in this last picture.

Double-Ringed Pennant

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 A double-ringed pennant (Celithemis verna) didn’t mind my attention this morning and posed for a few pictures. This is a male; the females have a yellowish thorax and a little yellow on base of  their abdomen.

Yard Walk-about

Insect numbers have increased lately.

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I’m not sure what a short-horned grasshopper found interesting on the sedum.

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If you look close on the right of the two front petals, you’ll find a small plant hopper.

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Apparently something tried to capture this pearl crescent butterfly.

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A slug slowly made its way around to the back side of the leaf.


 The  dragonfly sure didn’t pick an attractive perch.

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The crab spider looked like part of the leaf from a distance.

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I couldn’t see through the silk to see if there was either an egg mass or larvae on the white dogwood leaf.

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The spider that spun the nest is to the left partly under the long strands of silk.

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A hanging insect  — in this case a skipper — can mean either a crap spider or ambush bug. From what little that shows, it has to be an ambush bug.

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A moth waiting patiently for the night.