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Posts from the ‘Butterfly’ Category

Planting for Caterpillars

When first installing landscaping around my house, I was determined to plant only flora that were native to our area. However, there isn’t much that blooms for any length of time so I also planted Lantana for color. It didn’t take long before I started seeing Butterflies visiting and feeding on the flowers and in no time I developed a passion for photographing Butterflies! I wanted to find more!

Searching for Butterflies with CAZBA

Searching for Butterflies with CAZBA

Someone suggested I check out a local butterfly group (cazba). When I did, I was excited to see their list of great looking outings. What better way to find butterflies than to tag along with people who know how to find them. Duh! I joined their group, of course.

By the end of that first outing (2009), I became enlightened to the secret to finding butterflies. You simply go to places where butterflies lay their eggs. The most interesting thing I learned that day, though, was how specific each species of Butterfly is as to where they lay their eggs! Read more

Flying Insect Surveys

Unidentified Stink BugCurrently, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s Field Institute is conducting surveys of ALL LIFE in the Preserve. These surveys will continue for the next few years and I’m so happy to be a part of them! My very favorites of these surveys are Flora, Flying Insects, Birds and Herps. With the exception of Flora (which I collect and document), my primary goal on the surveys is to photograph the outings. I then donate the images to the Conservancy for use on their website and/or printed material.  A bonus for me is the education I’m receiving. Love it!

Below are photos from our most recent flying insect survey. Sorry for all the “unidentified”. Our experts are really busy. I must purchase bug books! Read more

Colonel Devin Trail Butterflies

Colonel Devin Trail, Payson, AZMy butterfly group went on our annual butterfly hunt on the Colonel Devin Trail this past Saturday (just 1.5 hrs from home). Read more

Breakfast for Butterflies

This is an old image I updated by adding textures. The butterfly was photographed at the Butterfly Pavilion at the Desert Botanical Garden. The garden no longer houses as many varieties as in past years. They now mostly have Monarchs. Still fun to see but not as exciting.

Spicebush Swallowtail Textured

I’ve been re-working some of my images adding textures for a painterly look.

Roadrunner Food?

That’s what I wondered as I rounded the corner of my house this evening and saw a Roadrunner in front of a Desert Milkweed where I had spotted 6 Queen caterpillars this morning. There were only two left! Darn 🙁 I then wondered if that might have been what happened to the Chrysalis recently and to the other two caterpillars. Note to self….make some kind of screen to go over the plants as soon as I spot the caterpillars or I might never get to document the process. (shot handheld with my Canon 180 Macro)

Butterfly Bonus

I may have mistakenly relocated a Queen caterpillar the other day. I thought it was looking for food (my Milkweed had been devoured) but my friend Laura M. told me it might just have been ready to morph. If that’s the case, the caterpillar is probably hunkered down on the new plant. I couldn’t find it the other day but will look harder the next time I walk by his new home.

Anyway….I decided to look for two new Milkweed plants and found some healthy 5 gallon specimens at Black Mountain Nursery (Dynamite very near Tatum). As I was getting ready to plant them, I found quite a surprise! One plant has a chrysalis and the other had a caterpillar…both Queens. Yipee! These aren’t the greatest of photos but they will do as a start to documenting their progress. From now on, I’ll use my SLR to get some good detail. My butterfly education continues! Thanks again, Laura 🙂

Queen Caterpillar Followup

Sadly, I could not find the Queen caterpillar this morning. This is actually the second time I’ve tried to relocate one of them to another plant with more for them to eat. The first time was in 1999 and I put it on another plant in my yard but in that case too, it didn’t stay. It might have been my imagination but when I relocated this latest one, it seemed disoriented. I had visions of it trying to find its way home! 🙁

Lessons learned. First I’m relocating my Milkweed to a non grub infested area of my yard so they can grow large and full of flowers. Second….I will let nature take it’s course from now on!