Sunday, September 27, 2009

Obscure Bird Grasshopper

Another day of chasing butterflies around the yard. Something flew over my shoulder and landed in the elderberry bush. I nice big green grasshopper.080cs

I spent a few minutes snapping away. It didn’t seem to bother it.095cs

It was even kind enough to sit still for a few close-ups. Looks like it is wearing armor.



In this picture, I was shooting into the shadows of the woods. I like it for the different shades of greens.


I think these are called “bird” grasshoppers because of the long wings and the distance they can fly.  It’s a big grasshopper, but not as large as the Eastern Lubber.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sulphur Butterfly

These little yellow butterflies flit all over and hardly ever sit still. I have not seen them with their wings spread while feeding on my bottlebrush. The Honey Bee didn’t seem to mind sharing.038cs

I have so many black Swallowtails that these are fun to see.046cs

It’s also fond of the Hibiscus flowers.h 013cs

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

An Anhinga with trash around it’s beak


Our friends, Debbie and George, have a beautiful pond. Many ducks call it home. Many more wild ones come in daily to feed. Blue Herons and Anhingas also frequent it.

This Anhinga showed up and has stayed a few days. They realized there was a problem. I took some pictures this afternoon, so we could get a look at what is on it’s beak.


It almost looks like rags or something with knots in it.014cs

The bird was quite a distance away and the pictures aren't very good.

They contacted someone who knows how to handle a situation like this. They will try to net it when it gets a bit weaker. They don’t want to chase it away, it might not get any help then.


For some reason it cant get it off it’s beak and that means it can’t eat. I will let you know how they make out getting it free.

This is one of the reasons we carry nippers and bags for trash when we are out in our dingy. We once saw an Anhinga with fishing line trailing behind, as it flew past, and decided  we’d  start gathering all the fishing line that is left in the bushes etc. We have to take our dog ashore each evening and morning…while out..we cruise the waters edge looking for “stuff”.

Check out the “Pick it up” button on the right….just click on it.  This is why you’ll find it on all my blogs.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Palamedes Swallowtail Butterfly

I’ve had several Black Swallowtail butterflies fluttering around the yard. It wasn’t until I actually got a bunch of pictures, that I realized there were so many kinds.

I believe this is the Palamedes Swallowtail.069cs

So far, I’ve gotten photos of the Giant Swallowtail and the Palamedes. I’ve another that I haven’t found a name for other than Black Swallowtail. I’ll get that posted one of these days.061cs

It’s amazing but on many butterflies…the under side is the prettier side. As is the case with this one.072cs


And look at this face…060cs

Looks like his “Mohawk” is between his eyes.  Where do they put their “sipper” when it’s not in use?

This is another fairly large butterfly. They can have a wingspan of 4-5 inches.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Great Golden Digger Wasp

While following the butterflies around the yard, I spotted this big, unusual looking wasp on my bottlebrush. It’s amazing how many different kinds of wasps can be found there…along with the honeybees and butterflies.012cs

I was surprised at how big it is. Perhaps  an inch and a half long…At first it didn’t like me following it around but finally settled down long enough for a few shots.018cs

After getting a picture, I immediately checked   I am pretty sure it is a Great Golden Digger Wasp. A predator wasp. Very beneficial for gardens. This one didn’t look exactly like the one in their photo.019cs

But this one did, and it looks like the one above except for some coloring. So…perhaps I had a male and a female, or a juvenile, if they have such things. 035cs

It buzzed me a few times but didn’t try to sting or anything. I’ll be watching for it from now on.  My bottlebrush had 3 kinds of butterflies, at least 3 kinds of wasps, honeybees and the Amberwing Dragonfly….all at the same time. It was really humming.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Snowy Egrets, Great Egret, White Ibis

I take regular bike rides down along the canals that run next to the road, here in the Hammock.  I can ride the same roads and see something new each day.

This morning, late morning, I saw a flock of Snowy Egrets land and start feeding in the canal.030cs

There were White Ibis among them. They have a long curving reddish bill. The dark bird is an immature Ibis. I also noticed a Great Egret standing among them. It’s in the center of the picture. At first, I thought it was a Great White Heron. They look very similar, but the Great White Heron has yellowish legs and the Great Egret…black.026cs 

I tried getting closer but they decided they’d leave.034cs

It is so pretty watching  a flock lift off. They circled around and landed again, but I decided to leave and let them feed on whatever it was that attracted them to that spot.

I cropped this out of one of the photos so you could see the difference between the Snowy Egret and the Great Egret.  Big difference in size and the Snowy Egret has a black bill. It also has black legs and yellow feet. Kind of looks like its wearing boots. The flight photo shows several yellow feet, if you look close.040cs

It’s funny….but until I started taking pictures…all I ever saw way a flock of white birds….not realizing there could be more than one kind. Now that I have something to compare it to, besides my memory, I can check my PETERSON FIELD GUIDE (East of the Rockies)  , and then I learn even more.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Soft Shell Turtle

We were driving up our road (dirt) and I spotted this large Soft Shell Turtle in the grass on the shoulder.015cs

I sent my husband on home with the groceries while I waited for it to come out of the shell or move on. It just sat there and looked at me for 10 or 15 minutes. 017cs

Evidently it didn’t feel threatened so started to check me out.024cs

Can’t say this is one of nature’s beauties.041cs

It has a “snorkle” like snout, and a long neck that lets it lay on the bottom of a shallow pond or canal and still breath. Waiting for a “meal” to swim by. You can get an idea of the size of it’s mouth in this photo. I read a large one could bite off a finger or maybe even a hand. They have very long necks, so picking up a large one might not be a good idea, even to get it out of the road.034

I think this might be a female since males are smaller and only get a bit over a ft long. This one was longer than that. She looks at me as if to ask if I am done yet and can she get on with her business.037cs

Then headed back into the ditch, and on her way.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Eastern Lubber Grasshopper

I spotted this Eastern Lubber nymph back in June.Grasshopper 027cs

This is one of the early stages of this grasshoppers life.Grasshopper 030cs

It’s coloring is beautiful.  I think it was about 1 1/2 inches long.

Today I had one on the screened room. This one is much bigger, about 3 inches.075cs

I think they go through 5 stages in life. They are black as nymphs then change colors a bit. This is an adult but still has another stage where it will have more black.


I cant say I’d call them pretty…this is a face only a mother could love, but the more I look at it …the better it gets.112cs

Looks like something from a Sci-fi movie.  They really shine…like they polished up for the pictures.


He’s decided I’ve taken enough pictures and is slowly making his escape.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Walking Stick

If it hadn’t been crossing the road, I would have missed it. Once in the grasses and sticks it is almost hidden. Can you find it?n 105cs Here’s another try. It really blends in.

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I got it to grab onto this bit of grass so you could see what it is. Pretty neat little insect.

n 094cs