Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thankfully, something new to post

Thanksgiving porch moth This lovely moth was on my porch this morning. It had a familiar look to it: brownish with wings laying out flat. A Geometrid species, of which there are hundreds. But as I searched through all my moth photos, I couldn't find one exactly like this. So off to BugGuide I went, where I'm pretty sure it matches up with the genus Tetracis.

 Happy Thanksgiving.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

My last mantis of the year?

I found this brown mantis almost a month ago at the arboretum, at my final public bug safari tour of the year. I was hoping I would see at least one more mantis there today, and there might still be one or two, here and there, but I didn't find any. So this may be my last one for the year. She's a pretty one, though. pretty mantid

Pretty brown pattern
Look at the beautiful mottling on her wings and abdomen.
  A fond farewell I'll miss the sweet triangular faces, till next spring.

Also last month, I started my sabbatical, if you can call it that when I am only a volunteer. But it's been almost ten years for the arboretum and 20 years for the schools, and I need a break. I'm taking a selfish year off from all my volunteering. I still plan to continue taking pictures of bugs whenever I can, but I'm also trying to do other things, like finally remodeling my house, which is still trapped in the 60's, 70's, and 80's.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Monarch caterpillar time

high concentration of caterpillars Undaunted by what passes for inclement weather here in SoCal, the monarch caterpillars are beginning to boom at the arboretum.

  monarch caterpillar
Their peak season here will last through December or January, or till the milkweed runs out.

Quick change

morning moult
A milkweed bug takes its chances shedding its skin in between rain showers this morning. Not that it had a choice. I'm pretty sure when it comes to molting, when you gotta, you gotta.

Digressing from bugs for just a moment...

One of my earliest blog friends and followers is Gilly in New Zealand.  Although she can appreciate my bug stuff, her heart is really with the birds.  And especially right now, with her Paradise Shelduck, Daisy.

This is what Daisy looked like when she first came to Gilly's bird rescue in January.   You can't see it in this picture, but her right wing was badly injured and had to be amputated.

Photos by Gilly

Here she is more recently.   Unable to fly, but bright and healthy, she is now a loved companion.

Gilly's blog has alerted me to the fact that it's time to vote for  New Zealand's Bird of the Year.  And guess what bird she hopes will win?   You guessed it.  But the Paradise Shelduck needs lots more votes to win.  Can you help stuff the ballot box?  Please take a few moments and vote, in honor of Daisy.  I'll be right here when you get back.  Thanks :)

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