Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Eastern Amber wing 6.29.15

These little guys hang around my Passion Vine.


Sure hope they are not munching on my little caterpillars.019c

I guess one is a male and the other a female….but not sure.


On June 6 2009 I came home and spotted one on my bottlebrush bush…

Got my step ladder out and started taking pictures.

I almost got sun stroke I was out there so long…and it was hot.


I think this link will take you to it. If not just type Eastern Amber wing into the search box and it will come up.

I wasn’t able to get nice pictures like in that post. I was thrilled when I downloaded them to the computer.

I took this picture from the post… It looks like it has a clown face.

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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Our workers 6.3.15

These little guys used to come in the yard and raid my bird feeders.


I decided to put them to work. Our yard has a weed that takes over everything. Years ago my Mom tried killing it with weed killer and it just kept coming back.

I don’t like pesticides or herbicides so the Raccoons are helping us out.


We have a “feral” cat feeder that Jim built to feed our cats when we are away…Raccoons can’t get into it.

I keep a bag of dog food around, but use cat food from the feeder every couple of days.

I toss it along the edge of the woods in the deepest vines.

This one is feeling around with it’s front feet looking for a piece…


They have to dig around and in doing that it helps flatten out some of the vines…keeps them from climbing.

The cats enjoy the show…


Some days I only see one…..but there is a set of three that come in together….here are two of them.


and the third one.


Look at this cute little face….It knows I am looking at it. I snapped this picture and it was gone.


We like to keep them skittish….when they see us get up and walk around they head for the bushes…same if we go outside. Don’t want them to get used to people…someone else might just kill them.

They can be destructive but they’ve been pretty good since I started giving them the old food. It’s tiny pieces and they have to search through all the weeds to find it…

They don’t find enough to fill them up and I think we are just one of the stops they make during the day.

I toss the food first thing in the morning so I get to watch them while having my coffee….along with  the squirrels…doves…Honey Bees….Butterflies…I check my bushes each day to see how the caterpillars are growing….never gets dull around here.


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Passion Flower caterpillars 5.30.15

My Passion Flower is really filling out and has lots of blooms.


Two butterflies use this as a larval plant.

The Zebra Longwing….


Here she is laying eggs on the new growth at the end of the vine.


They lay several eggs in the same spot. The caterpillars are yellow when very small then become white with black spikes.


You can see the difference here….they like to stay together on the plant.


This is the Gulf Fritillary….


She lays her eggs on the broad leaves. If you look close you can see two near the bloom.

Her caterpillars are reddish with black spikes.


They don’t group like the Longwings do. So far, I’ve only spotted these two but there are plenty of eggs….one just below the caterpillar.

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In this photo you can see the skin the white one shed.


Butterflies and caterpillars are fascinating…

Wasps get some of the caterpillars and the little lizards. I guess that is natures way…if all the eggs survived there would be no plant left to feed them.

I started another with a few sticks to grow on.


I also have one started up a Cabbage Palm. I checked it this morning and it has half a dozen caterpillars on it too.

They grow wild along the road into our place and I take a few to plant in my yard.

The blooms have a beautiful fragrance and I hope to have them climbing all over my front porch…the breeze comes from there and would push it inside when the weather is cool enough to have the doors open….usually early morning, then I have to close up….at least during the summer.