Friday, October 23, 2015

Big Swallowtail Caterpillars and newly hatched 10.23.15

My original 3 are almost full size. I keep expecting to see them gone but they are eating away like crazy…wont be long. I hope I can find a chrysalis.


I’ve been watching and today was the first time I saw something that looked like a newly hatched caterpillar. There are 3 in this picture…2 in the next.

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I love watching the changes in them as they shed and grow.


This is my first experience with these so it’s going to be fun watching them.

Monday, October 19, 2015


I saw a Black Swallowtail flying around the yard one day so I bought a couple Parsley Plants for it to lay on. Only had one caterpillar so there must have been an egg on the plant when I bought them. They were small plants and it ate one almost completely up.

The second one had time to grow.


We got back from our boat trip (   and I spotted 3 caterpillars on it. Here are two.



We also found several eggs…looks like I may have to buy more caterpillar food. I counted 10 just on this part of the plant.


I have some sprouting in my milkweed bed but they are tiny.

I took this 2 days later….they are growing up.


I have 2 Passion Flower plants for the Zebra Longwings and Gulf Fritillary's. This is a Longwing.


She lays her eggs on the tips of the vine. …in large clusters. There are 4 0r 5 that have already hatched.


This is what it looks like when they all hatch. I think there are at least 20.

048c  They tend to stay together.012c


Even at this stage they are in a group. 009c


This one is almost ready to find a place to become a chrysalis.


Not a very good photo but this is what it will become.

008c (2)It is really  a beautiful Chrysalis.

This is the Gulf Fritillary.


This is the underside…it’s beautiful…painted kind of like a clown face.


She lays one egg on a leaf…sometimes 2 but never in a cluster like the Zebra Longwing. This one is almost grown.


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4 small ones.


They hang in a “J” …then shed their skin and end up a Chrysalis.


and this is their Chrysalis…similar to the Longwing’s

001c (2)  003c (2)

I like having all the butterflies…but I love the caterpillars more.

I grow Tropical milkweed and Giant milkweed for the Monarchs and Queens….Passion Flower Vine for the Zebra Longwings and Gulf Fritillaries…and now I’ve added Parsley for the Black Swallowtails.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Bat 10.8.15

We spent some time on the Arkansas River, OK. When we got home it was early evening and I noticed something on the bat house.

Thought it was a bat waiting for us to get the boat out of the way so it could come out.

It was there the next day and the next…couldn’t see what it was with the binoculars so I took a picture and cropped it.


It definitely looks like a bat. Figured it must be dead since it had been in the same spot for a week.

Today we took the 14’ step ladder and an extendable limb  trimmer…I climbed up and caught it with the tip and knocked it down.

It was definitely a bat and it has a hole in it’s throat.


I took a couple pictures by a tape measure. It looks like it is about 3” long or 3 1/8”.  I don’t know if this would be a Big Brown or a Little Brown Bat.  It was outside the 7/8” chamber…Jim made the outside for the Big Browns and the inside chamber is 1/2” for Little Browns….maybe this is a young one? 


I had on a pair of latex gloves..the ones I wear when working with the Honey Bees…


It’s a bit fuzzy since I cropped it more but here is a close up of the hole.


No idea what happened to it…could have been a fight or maybe ants got to it after it died.

We had a bat move into this 2 weeks after we put it up…we knew a bat soared around this area…it used to fly over the roof when Mom was alive…she called him “Billy” so Billy it has been….he’s been there all year…before we went boating I counted 2 bats..I sure hope this isn’t Billy. If it is then he most likely died of old age. I think they can live up to 20 years…Mom has been gone 10 years and her Billy kept her company for several years. She enjoyed sitting outside in the evening and watching him zip back and forth.

The bat house looks pretty tall but that palm behind it is about twice as tall. I’m just standing near the bat house.


If you can tell which kind of bat it is or what may have killed it..let me know.