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Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Posted by comettose 7 (My Page) on
Wed, Jun 20, 07 at 22:07

I wanted to start a thread to expand on birds to include nature of any kind! Photos encouraged of course - we all like to see pictures! Lately I've taken an interest in semi-close up photographs because with my point and shoot I can't do real macro. I'm still working out issues with small insects - I get the background clearer than the insects which has been disappointing so far. Objects that don't move or move little are a snap! So please share your photos and thoughts.

Narcissus poeticus var. recurvus

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Waiting for Homegown Tomatoes to Ripen!

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Eye of Frog (and Tail of Newt). I've not checked but I wonder if I bring that photo of the eye in closer will I see myself taking the picture?

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Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Awesome photos CT!


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 21, 07 at 10:11

*waving at CT in the frog's eyebwall* LOL I think I really do see you in there. :D Beautiful shots! Mmm, fried green tomatoes, anyone? I bet that Narcissus smells heavenly!

Some pics of hollyhocks I actually grew from seed all by myself this year! Must be beginner's luck. They're still blooming like crazy!

Deep crimson

Rose-colored

Yellow

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Ooooh Brenda - those are really pretty - great job sprouting them. I like single hollyhocks the best and that deep wine colored one is my favorite. Might have to get some of those seeds from you! I don't know where the heck I would plant it - hollyhocks are pretty big, but I guess most of it is height. Have you seen hummers at them? Hollyhocks always remind me of older farmsteads and grandmothers as they were so popular years ago. They are back in high fashion again! CT

P.S. Thanks for posting - I am hoping this thread can become the new bird sightings thread perhaps so we can still have birds but branch with other nature topics too! We have FTM with her bugs and some have posted butterflies and Jean with her birds, you and I with our plants, and of course being a pond forum everyone with pond photos!


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 21, 07 at 20:13

I will be more than happy to save all of the little seed pouches from that wine-colored one, CT! Since I've never done it, I'm assuming that I should wait until they dry a bit and start turning tan/brown. All of those are actually from the same Ferry Morse Summer Carnival seed packet. They were all supposed to be fully double, but many of them are turning out to be singles. Not sure what colors you'll get from the seeds, but since they bloom the first year, you won't have to put in a lot of growing time before choosing the ones to keep. :)

That dark one you like is actually the shortest of all of the bloomers - about 3 feet. But the others are closer to 5 ft., if not more. They don't get wide at all, which is why I like them for my small garden. And they are SO easy!

I think that was a good idea to start this thread, since the "birds" one had a deceptive name. :D

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Thanks Brenda - I would like some of the wine colored seeds or any of them really. Sometimes the smallest seedlings of some plants are the best colors but people pluck out what looks like a 'runt' seedling when the thin them out.

Yes - I hope the thread works out and get some folks to start putting up photos or chiming in with lively discussions about any topic really is fine with me. Tangents are a specialty. LOL We need to get you a cable modem or DSL though - ouch on the download time. We can just start it over frequently too. We will have to see what the others want to do too.

Here are a few more 'close-ups' and also a pretty daylily that is not that close:

Hemerocallis - Daylily 'Clothed In Glory' I think - I've started to forget which daylily is which after years of growing them and labels losing the writing. Frankly I don't care what their names are but if I think I can remember. For trading something people say they want 'named' daylilies and I guess it is people like me that cause that. All my daylilies have a given name, but like having too many kids you can't always remember who they are at any given time!
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Eupatorium purpureum 'Joe Pye Weed'

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Hemerocallis - Daylily 'Strutter's Ball'

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 22, 07 at 13:40

(I forgot to mention that I haven't seen the hummers at the hollyhocks at all. I did see a carpenter bee on the first day of bloom for that wine one, though!)

That's one thing I never did when starting seeds for the first time this year is thin them out. I just didn't have the heart! LOL So I grew every single one that popped up. :D

Oh, yeah, I'd LOVE it if DSL was available out here in the boonies! Until then, I just load each pic individually...or walk away from the computer for a few minutes. LOL This works great until the thread gets pretty big, and we can always start new ones, like you said.

Those daylilies are gorgeous! I have a feeling that if I were to ever start growing them, I'd quickly become addicted to them. And I've always wanted to grow Joe Pye weed! Alas, it's not in my zone. :(

Here is a feverfew (Chrysanthemum parthenium), which I've always wanted to grow, as well. I got it for a dollar at a plant sale this year. :D

This is a native sage, Salvia clevelandii 'Allen Chickering'. I've had it for about 3 years, and this was its first year to bloom! It was SO worth the wait. I love the whorls of blooms.

And this is the popular S. guaranitica 'Black and Blue' (a.k.a. domestic violence Salvia LOL). The blooms are really big on this one, for a Salvia, anyway.

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Here's 2 of my little watergarden friends:
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


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sorry

Sorry that last one didn't completely load onto photobucket. It takes about 1/2 hour, sometimes longer, to load it up from my new digital, since I have dialup. And sometimes it doesn't load it all.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Great close up of the frog CT! Looks like some battle scars there.

I have never had much luck growing hollyhocks, they always get eaten up and then I just have leaf skeletons. But I love them - I have fond memories of my grandmother's garden and she always had hollyhocks and we would make hollyhock dolls from the blooms. The good ole days!

I have been using daylillies to stabilize one of my hill sides that is too steep to mow. I am starting to amass quite a collection but I have no idea which varieties they are. I went to Springhill's catalog surplus sale this week and got a bunch of bags of the tubers - some had one plant per bag and some had 7 per bag at .99 per bag. I think I have enough to do another 6 or 7 feet down the hill - not much farther to go!

While you ladies are posting pretty pictures of flowers, I have a picture of the ugliest bug I think I have ever seen. I was backing out of the garage this morning and was 20 feet away when I noticed this huge bug on the foundation. Of course I had to stop and see, it's a dobson fly and was 4" long! Most bugs don't bother me but this one gave me the heebie geebies (sp???).

Huge dobson fly

Then I noticed this pretty "bug" - it took me awhile to id this as a webworm moth.

Webworm moth


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Is that a northern water snake? I've not seen mine this year and to be honest, that doesn't really bother me since he only left me three fish last year!

Great shot of the dragonfly!


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Hi jeanner,
How long are those bugs? Is that the siding of your house? They must like it there! What a cool moth!
Yes, I'm pretty sure its a northern water snake. (either that or some poisonous one!!??!) He was here at the beginning of last summer, but disappeared, and I was glad, since I think they eat frogs. But he/she returned this year, and has sort of staked out its property and is there almost every day. It spends alot of its time in the water. Its always surprising me.
When I go out there I always say to myself "Now be ready......"......but it still surprises me!
I thought I had 2.....one sort of brown and one more black, but I haven't seen the second one. I wonder if its having babies close by? They were entwined one day....so there may be babies around. Snakes are pretty amazing creatures.
The dragonfly is sitting on a bamboo stick I have to mark a small plant.......but I'm thinking of keeping a few sticks around, since the dragonflies seem to love resting on them.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Brenda - The feverfew is normally liked by insects for the pollen. The centers look like little sponges. The next plant reminds me of the habit of monarda that stacks the flowers along the stem. I have one of those domestic violence salvias bought this year for the first time. I put it in a porch planter with bacopa and something with tiny purple flowers. It sure takes its merry ol time putting up new flower stalks after I cut back the old. They are striking though with the black base and bright blue flower. Maybe I don't have it in enough sun though.

Cat - great photo of the snake and dragonfly! I get garter snakes in my pond but never a true water snake. I guess I am glad of that as I don't want anything eating my fish. Well, some I could part with to cull, but a couple are named pets, and those are always the first to get nabbed if seems because they are easiest to see. Geez - if you get tons of babies you will have to relocate maybe to a nearby water source. I've seen that dragonfly type at my pond with the black and white spots but I have not ID'd it yet. I attached a link but if may take too long with dial up but if you have a work computer that is faster it is good ID site.

Jean - that Dobson is cool. I like the wings that look like they have snow on them. But, 4" - yikes! What do they do when they are out and about? Can't be they sit on the house siding all day. The webworm moth is very pretty but such a pest and those colors signal they are not edible but I've seen bullfrogs eat them. They love to build their web nests on the wild cherry trees (Prunus serotina).

Regarding the frog, I also noticed the battle scars and wondered how 'she' got them since she is new to the pond from last year as a baby, and is about 4" long. I wonder if that is from banging into the pavers due to missed attempts at insects? The edges are not smooth. True frog battles, between the males, are not much more than a boxing or wrestling/drowning match, not scratch marks like that.

Let me know if you see any daylilies you would like a plant sent - or I could send a bulk box of each kind I have in the fall (one trimmed fan of each) which are quick and easy to plant. I have more varieties to post photos.

Anyway - to today's photos:

Platycodon bloom with a small bee/fly/wasp? What do you think it is? I was thinking small sweat bee of some kind but I get these all over the flowers. Very tiny.

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Monarda didyma 'Cambridge Scarlet' - I would love to be sitting with the camera and have an awesome butterfly or a hummer come by! No such luck yet and it's hot out there to just sit and wait.

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Rudbeckia fulgida with Bumble Bee (Bombus sp.)

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Hemerocallis - Daylily 'Canadian Border Patrol' And don't ask me where these hybridizers come up with these goofy flower names. Yes, I see Horton in that flower with his Goosi brigade on patrol:-) And if you see it too you need serious medical attention!

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Here is a link that might be useful: Dragonflies of the Americas


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

I was searching the link and this may be your dragonfly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Cat's Dragonfly???


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

CT........I think maybe we got the water snakes because we live about 200' from a large stream. Otherwise, I don't think it would have found us. Fortunately, no beavers building dams in my little watergarden! hahaha
They have been a major problem in our stream in the past. Its unfortunate......they are incredible animals. But they sure can ruin trees overnight.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 23, 07 at 20:58

Catherine, those are 2 great pics! That snake is particularly awesome! He looks very smug and satisfied...always good qualities in a snake. :D

Jean, what a contrast in pics! That Dobson is freaky! I think the thing that freaks me out most about it is the head area...elongated and kind of shiny! *full-body shudder* That webworm moth is SO fascinating, though! Like paint by numbers!

CT, the Monarda and Rudbeckia look awesome together on the page! I have a Mondarda 'Petite Delight' I've had since last year, but it hasn't bloomed yet. I sure hope it does this year! It doesn't look that great at the moment, but it's alive. LOL

Oh, my goodness, I almost forgot!!!! (<<<---excited, can you tell?) This morning, I heard some noises up in the tree, before the sun came up, and I pointed the flashlight up there. Looking down at me (very much askance!) was THE BARN OWL!!!!! White face and all! That was the best few seconds of my life! It screeched, I apologized, and quickly retreated inside. LOL Ahhh, good times!

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Oh my Goodness, Brenda, how could you possibly forget that!!! LOL!! Did you have to change your pants???? Way cool!!! If I had even 1/2 of 1% chance of seeing a barn owl I might get up as early as you .... but since there is no chance in he!! for me, I will take my sleep.

I had a couple surprises today (although nothing like a BARN OWL!). A rose-breasted grosbeak showed up, very rare as a summer sighting here. Also had a flicker, not rare for the area but I usually only see them in the spring and fall. And a juvenile red-tailed hawk (I think) was in the grass after something. I think this is the first time I have ever seen a red-tail land in the yard.

The dobson fly larva is actually a pond resident, when they morph into adulthood they only live for a few days before they lay there eggs in the pond. So bad for the pond (I believe they eat small fish and tadpoles) but good for me (won't be in my house!)

Since I was striking out on bird pictures today, I decided to change lens and try my hand at a little macro photography. I really need to do some reading on it, I found several problems with what I was doing (afterwards of course!). I practiced on some damselflies today. I attempted to id them but apparently damselfly id is very involved, so these id's are a shot in the dark.

Familiar bluet 1
Familiar bluet 2
Familiar bluet with gnat

Cherry bluet 1
Cherry bluet 2

Eastern Forktail

Then there was this little bug, about 1/4" and looked like a little grasshopper with the longest antenna - they must have been 4" long! Anyway I thought it was cute. Anyone know what this little guy is??

Unknown

I had fun with the bugs today and hope to try again with some different settings, so watch out!


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RE: I take that back!

Okay, 4" antennae was an exaggeration, by looking at the pictures they were more like an inch long (they just looked that long!!!!)


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Wow Brenda - so lucky to see a barn owl. I've never seen one in the wild. They are rare here. They have a program to adopt one to raise money for habitat and owl houses.

Great bugs Jean! That one with the long antenna is wild and upsidedown on the leaf. I love dragonflies. The first photo of the Cherry Bluet looks like it is smiling and showing us his braces. I can't wait to see more.

I saw a beautiful Zebra Swallowtail yesterday but of course no camera. I chased a cabbage white around to get a photograph but they take off everytime you get close enough.

I saw my Blue Jay today. The eye is fine still and from the top the bird looks a tad bent with the body going one way the the tail another but none worse for wear. It is not as imposing as the usual bluejays because the Grackle shooed it off and usually it is the other way around with bluejays. I found a dead dove in the backyard with no injury so I don't know what happened there. I tossed it into the woods.

I have a Fowler's Toad living in the potted plants on my front porch. I was wondering who was digging those holes in soil/mulch of my potted plants. I thought it was a squirrel until I lifted up one of the plant leaves to investiage and saw the toad half buried in the soil/mulch. He gets watered with the plants:-) At night it comes out on the porch deck and eats beetles that gather because of the porch light.

My close up for today is Acer palmatum

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Jean - that grasshopper might be a katydid. I found one called a Short-winged Meadow Katydid that looks similar as far as green body and long antenna. Link below to a photo.

Also - Cat's dragonfly is a male Libellula pulchella

Here is a link that might be useful: Short-winged Meadow Katydid


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RE: Photos - Animal, **Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Jean - that link I left for dragonflies and damselflies has tons of thumbnail photographs you can scan through quickly - search by color first.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 25, 07 at 10:54

Wow, CT, we're on the same wavelength! I was checking out the short-winged meadow katydid, too! LOL Not sure what kind it is, but I bet it truly is a katydid. Cute little creature, with those big eyes! :D

LOVE your damselflies, Jean, no matter which ones they are! That one eating a gnat...what a GREAT pic! I can't imagine your photos getting any better.

That Japanese maple is beautiful, CT! I just gave a young 'Bloodgood' to my mom, which I'd bought for $6 a month or so ago. I think it will do MUCH better at her house. I really envy those who can grow them. I just get too much wind!

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Comettose....thanks for id'ing my dragonfly. I think the female has mirror image of the males wings?? We noticed that one has black-white-black-white, etc, and the other has white-black-white-black. Nature is so cool!
Brenda, what a neat experience with the barn owl! I'm so envious!
I had a similar experience many years ago with a great horned owl. I was taking a walk around our property, and I looked over at a big metal post, and he was sitting on it. We both sort of froze, looking at each other....then he flew off. I know what you mean......you try to run away fast hoping that they don't notice you there, and hopefully they'll stay!


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

The female looks different. Maybe you had a left handed dragonfly;-)

Brenda - Bloodgood is great for holding color even in sun. I have a Boodgood on the edge of my woods about 5 foot tall. I didn't get that good deal of $6 though!!!

Took a photo of my Fowler's Toad and a green moth I need to get ID'd. The moth is about 1" wide. The toad has a permanent dug out in my Black and Blue salvia and comes out every night to gorge on bugs until morning. Fat little bugger but he/she reminds me of Mrs. Fowler who was eaten a few summers back by a garter snake. This one has lots of markings. They vary from toad to toad. The Fowlers has at least 3 warts inside the enclosed dark areas and American toad never 3. The females are supposedly more colorful so this might be a gal.

Fowler's Toad by the Hoya

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Unknown Green moth for ID:

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

I ID'd my moth and found a good moth site while doing it.
It is a Nemoria saturiba. Lots of similar moths most of them tropical but the distinguishing feature is the dark markings on the abdomen. The link photo is one taken in Snow Hill MD which is just outside Ocean City on the Atlantic ocean.

Here is a link that might be useful: Geometrinae - Emerald Moths.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Thanks for the katydid id - I'll have to go google katydids now.

Your toad looks quite content - I bet you've got no slugs in that pot! What a great porch pet.

Thats a moth I've not seen - there are so many different kinds, I see something different every morning and haven't yet id'd most of them.

I really missed on my damselfly id's - they are all eastern forktail, the first is the male, the second is the female and the last is a juvenile forktail.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

"The Fowlers has at least 3 warts inside the enclosed dark areas and American toad never 3."- very 8interesting!

i was so excited to have a toad singing outside a couple mornings ago. it also verified my suspicions that they would like to sit in the pvc pipe drain that runs from the downspout and under the concrete patio. well, not exactly. i couldn't see it along the house by the door, and he was quite loud, so by omission he must have been in there. and, he only sang twice once heard by moi.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

FTM-this toad is the one where the males sit by the pond and scream for a mate to notice their fine self. I watched about 40 pairs last summer. The females are larger than the males and those boys had a conga line going for a while on one of the poor ladies in waiting. Another male came along and got a foot in his face from the victor. They couple up and lay in the grass for a while, whispering sweet nothings, and when she is ready to lay her eggs she hops into the pond with squeaky riding along on her back for the trip. He dare not let go lest he lose his prize. Next thing you know you have a gazillion strands of eggs mixed in with the plants and a few days later the little roly-poly, all black tads. Their trilling (screaming)got so loud my son asked me to shut the door. This year - not so many toads. I affectionately call all of them 'screamers'. I have my son calling them that:-) When I'm dead and gone and he hears one he'll probably tell someone that is a Screamer Toad.

Jean- and you thought birds were hard to ID sometimes - insects are a whole new game! Some of that entomology I learned in college is creeping out of the back recesses of my brain. Now I wish I had pursued that field! I had a katydid website for North American that was pretty good. I'll have to hunt it down again. 1000's of 'dids' to look at and boy too many of them look identical to my untrained eye. I can hear the scientist now - oh Bob look, one with a slightly articulated third joint of the left matriculus which is only seen in the hobnob scotch family of katydids:-)


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 26, 07 at 9:30

LOL!!! @ your last sentence, CT! That toad is SO handsome/pretty! And the moth is pretty, too! When I was younger, I used to be grossed out by their thick, hairy bodies, but now, I'm happy whenever I see them, even if it's only knowing they'll be food for something else some day. :)

When I was a kid, my folks used to have hundreds of toads (not like CT's, though!) every year, under the cracking concrete, in the lawn, you name it...and they didn't even have any water nearby! I used to hold them, gaze into their eyes, and cuddle them. LOL I even tried to name them. Toads have to be one of the cutest creatures on the planet!

Catherine, that's exactly the reason I retreated! I was scared he/she would see me and think, "That's it! I'm not dealing with THESE neighbors! Hmph!" LOL If I saw a great horned owl, I'd probably pass out. :D

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Oh Brenda. That is classic. I thought I was the only one to apologize to birds, spiders, frogs ... what ever. Barn Owls are sooooo special! Lucky you!

C3D


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

I seem to be missing about a dozen frogs (since earlier this year). In fact I don't seem to have any frogs! Do you think the barred owl could be thinning out my population?

I finally got some time to id some moths from the last couple of days. The first one really had me fooled, I could have sworn it was a type of sphinx moth but it's not -it's a Spotted Apatelodes Moth, which seems kind of funny since he's not very spotted. The second moth is an Io moth, found dead and looks as though he had quite a lively evening!

Spotted apatelodes moth

Io moth

I've been playing with my macro lens again ... and the damselflies are such willing participants. But you may never look at a damselfly the same way again ...

Juvenile forktail up close and personal


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Jean! Those are fantastic! The first moth the feet have snowshoes for some reason. Must be for soft landings. The IO looks like a massacre with anothr tiny dead bug on the leaf. Both are beautiful. Love the false eyes on the Ios,

The forktail looks like those walking pod alien ships in War of the Worlds, but with a face. I'm glad I'm not a gnat - can you imagine this creatures hellbent on eating you for dinner. Insects are scary looking. Good thing they are not big or humans would be doomed. In the end we might all be doomed due to the smallest of organisms anyway which is kind of funny when you think of it. With all our intelligence and supposedly empathy and ability to reason to be smacked down by a virus. That darn natual order of things when one species gets too bold.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Thu, Jun 28, 07 at 11:57

Those are awesome creatures, Jean! I LOVE the fuzziness of the moths! They look so soft. That "spotted" is my favorite. The vibrant colors of the Io are incredible, too, though. And no, I will never look at damselflies the same way again. LOL They're SO intricate, like little machines, as CT mentioned. It looks like he's asking you to dance. :D

Not sure about the owl eating your frogs, but they are on their menu. Do you tend to get a lot of rodents in your area? I would think that if the rodents are having a less than bumpercrop year, the owls may tend to lean toward more frogs as meals.

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Fri, Jun 29, 07 at 12:03

I wasn't able to get a photo, but just a few minutues ago, I heard the most beautiful northern mockingbird singing his heart out!! He never once repeated a sound the whole time. I was able to catch the calls of the jays, the finches, the maggies...and SO many others! I could listen to that all day. He should cut an album. I'd buy it! :D

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Hmmm, I'm not sure rodents are scarce this year - I seem to have a bumpercrop of chippies - they are everywhere! I love to see them running from the feeder area to the house with their little tails up in the air. So maybe the owl is not the reason for the disappearance of the frogs, but it is strange considering I usually have at least a dozen of them.

I have never heard a mockingbird :^(. My winter-resident mocker disappeared this spring and I never heard it make a peep last winter. So lucky you!


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Frogs sometime leave on their own and then show back up. I've had that happen in past years. This year, however, I started the spring with my usual six frogs (including Droopy) and two months ago only two frogs. Still only two frogs and Droopy is among the missing:-( I think a bumper crop of snakes may be eating them. I don't have hardly any toads, a few I see here and there and my porch pal. I had a baby garter snake in my small front water garden. He was looking for snails. Speaking of snails I need to get a non-blurry photo of one to see if anyone can ID. They are shaped like a soft ice cream (swirled and piled high) and are brown with yellow-gold sheen to the shell. They area about 1/2" in size and came on their own. The back yard, bigger pond has snails now too but they are smaller and spend much of their time on the sides of the pond out of the water. These brown/yellow-gold types are larger and stay in the water all the time, sometimes eating algae on the surface of the water upsidedown.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Photos:

Black and Blue Salvia - Toad lives underneath.

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Salvia pulled back to reveal toad buried in the mulch to stay cool during the day. He can go deeper so only his nose is peaking out. He uses the same hole each time. I hope a snake will be reluctant to come up on the porch to eat her/him.

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Snails in front pond that I put in a small dish of pond water for the photo: Regular shot and cropped up a bit closer. Anybody know what species they are? They only eat algae as none of the plants are messed up and are not prolific. I like the orange-yellow pattern on the shell. The shells are not very hard and they are classic snails with a foot that comes out and you can just see the antennae peeking out on some of them. They seem to be solely aquatic. I never see these out of the water and they survive the winter here in Zone 7.

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Unknown moth resting on my siding - fuzzy red-brown head and banded wings.
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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 30, 07 at 18:45

NICE Calibrachoa behind the Black and Blue, CT! And the white bacopa is very pretty! That combo goes great together.

That toad is so adorable, thinking no one can see him. LOL "I'm invisible!...Did I just hear a 'click'?" :D I have NO idea what those snails are, but they look like they're made out of topaz! They are a great compliment to the gorgeous moth, too. I love that red, fuzzy head, and the "painted" wings!

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

amazing- toad in a planter. great macro shots, too.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

My moth was tentatively ID'd by a man named Bob Patterson. His hobby is photographing and idenifying moths where he lives in Maryland. I sent him my photo via email and he got back to me today and said he thought it was a Danatas in the family Notidontidae. A photo of moth ID #7906 - Datana contracta is linked below (scroll down to the number once open), but he could not be certain. I think it looks the same although the link photo may be a pinned specimen and much paler in color, but the furry head and wing pattern are quite similar. The moth link is pretty good as it has a thumbnail page for quick searching by sight.

Here is a link that might be useful: Contracted Datana Moth


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

CT - I get those moths too - they look like a dead, curled up leaf, quite an ingenious camouflage! I think I need you to come design my pot plantings, mine always look a little wild (aka "messy") and by the end of the summer there is just room to get around them.

I don't recognize the snails (hmmm, another photography venue perhaps except I'm sure I would drop my camera in the water). Are they a type of ramshorn snail?


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Finally, I got some pictures of the brown thrasher - he's a sneaky little devil and even when I do get to see him, he's deep in the shadows. Taken in late evening light which makes for some dramatic lighting but seems approriate for the bird somehow.

Brown thrasher 1
Brown thrasher 2


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

One of my favorites Jean. I have a lovely pair I see all the time. A few years back I didn't have them but since feeding year round and always adding fruit and suet the thrashers come back each spring like clockwork.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 7, 07 at 11:01

Just look at those yellow eyes and the streaks on the front! He's so handsome!

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

It was just too hot to do much today so I spent a little time sitting by the pond and watching the dragonflies. This blue dancer would not share his little puddle though and kept chasing the other dragonflies away.
So he was my portrait sitter.
Blue dasher 1
Blue dasher 2

I finally got some time to id some of the bugs that I've photographed.

This first one is a robber fly. I always though robber flies were large flies but this particular species is only 3/8" of an inch.

Robber fly with gnat
Robber fly with unidentified prey

This is one of the plant hoppers - not to be confused with the leaf hoppers!. Just a 1/4" long.
Plant hopper whose common name escapes me at the moment

This is a red-banded leaf hopper. Also just 1/4" long.
Red-banded leafhopper

And last, a clear-winged hummingbird moth. I also saw a different hummingbird moth tonight but didn't get a picture but the body was yellow instead of green.
Clear-winged hummingbird moth

Okay if you gals are tired of my bug pictures, please speak up!


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

I will never get tired of your bug pictures - they are fantastic. Love the colors and shapes. Spectacular! The robber fly has some wild eyes! Thanks!

I'll be hit or miss for the next week as I have my sister and some out of town friends visiting.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 9, 07 at 12:02

Jean, I could NEVER get tired of your pics! Any and all, please keep posting! :)

Blue dasher, pic 1 - is he flexing his "arms"? LOL Oh, yeah, look at him posing in pic 2, sticking that bootie up in the air! :D

Robber fly - do you ever get the feeling you're being watched? Looks like he might have one of the Beatles...maybe Ringo? (Awesome close-ups, Jean!!!!)

The color of that plant hopper is incredible! It looks like an undersea tropical fish! Are they dangerous to plants?

Same with the color of that leaf hopper! His little turtle head is very cute. :D

That hummer moth is so fuzzy and cuddly! Is that a Lantana bloom he's drinking from?

I've been seeing a LOT of damselflies around the yard lately - bluish ones. But they're SO fast, no way I could get a pic! LOL

CT, hope you have a GREAT time with your sis and friends!

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Oh, I'm glad you enjoy them! I am having fun and the birdie activity is a little slow right now so it keeps me from going into picture redrawal (believe me, it's not a pretty sight!).

I only had a few minutes tonight but immediately found an interesting bug to photo and spent hours identifying it - ackkkkk!!! I think it's a wheelbug nymph! I've seen the adults a few times and know to stay away from them but didn't recognize the nymph and I was turning the leaf over and nudging him to get him to come out of hiding. I'll post pictures tomorrow, not a bug you want to fool with (see link before).

On the damselflies, quick is not neccessary, in fact slow is the way to go. Find a place they like to hang out (usually tall grasses, lilies, etc.) and park your butt on the ground and wait. They don't seem to be particularly skiddish and when disturbed will often only move a few inches away and sometimes return to the same blade of grass. The dragonflies are a little more skiddish but will return to the same spot if you sit still. And for some reason blue is a good color to wear when trying to get close.

Off to bed and have nigthmares about assassin bugs - uggghhhh!!

Here is a link that might be useful: Wheel bug


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 10, 07 at 13:15

Holy cow, that is one scary bug, Jean! This explains it all -

"The Wheel Bug's odor...is produced by orange-red scent sacs that it everts from its anus, especially when disturbed."

Yummy!

*sniff* "Did you fart?" "Nope, must have been...AHHHH!"

Brenda

P.S. Thanks for the damselfly photo tips!! I'm going to give them a "shot" later today! :)


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

LOL Brenda!!

I've been getting quite a few butterflies lately, although not as many as usual since the demise of my coneflowers (big sigh). This female eastern swallowtail was drying it's wings after a brief shower and she was such a perfect specimen - so many of them have rips and tears. It's my new pc background ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Female eastern swallowtail


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

What a beauty Jean! I've been seeing lots of butterflies lately too. They were late this year. Mostly swallowtails of various sorts (Eastern, Spicebush, Zebra). No Viceroys or Monarchs on the Joe Pye Weed which is strange.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

You all are so funny! Jean i love all your photos so never worry that i dont like them even the bugs are cool. I have some sort of stink bug or wheel bug all over my butterfly bushes so i guess i have some bad insects they are eating. Yaaaaa for wheel bugs! I never use any kind of spray or fertilizer because i am too scared to hurt the beneficial bugs and birds that eat the bugs. So i have all kinds of creepy crawlies out there but im not getting close enough to see what they are because i am soooooo scared of BUGS!!! So they can just keep on doing what their doing and i am happy for them. I know im a wuss but im a nice wuss :-)------Great Great Photos on here and thanks for sharing, and i can get close to bugs here and not have a heart attack! :-)------bonnie


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Okay CT, pictures please of the Zebra swallowtail - I've never seen one, so time to share! I had my first black swallowtail today but I didn't have the camera and I never saw it return - RATS! But the giant swallowtail flitted through several times. I've got spicebush and pipevine swallowtails - check the undersides of your spices as they look very similar and it's easier to tell them apart from the underside. My spangled fritalaries (SP??) haven't shown up either and they are probably my most common butterfly. Just a few monarchs but I see more of them in the fall. Funny though that my milkweed only had a few blooms this summer.

Okay so do we consider the moon a mineral??? I've already violated the topic with my bugs so I wouldn't want to be a two-time offender. This was my first attempt of taking pictures of the moon through the telescope. I think we have the wrong adapter for the camera but I thought it turned out pretty well considering I had to focus manually with my ole eyes!

Here is a link that might be useful: Moon


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Holy Kamole!!!

That is stunning, Jean! What a gorgeous photo. A bug or insect is an animal. Hey ... I think you just mooned the forum. LOL!

C3D :-)


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Beautiful moon Jean. I'd love to photograph the Zebra swallowtail but with my camera it is not possible. They don't sit still at all and the amount of time from pushing the button and the actual photograph being taken they are not even on the flower or plant anymore! If I was telepathic I would be in business:-) Snails I CAN DO!

BTW - pipevines - if you have those there must be Dutchman's Pipe vine plants around. Do you have any seed? I want to add that plant as the Pipevine swallowtail is disappearing due to that plant not being popular any longer as in my Grandmother's day.

I am getting Painted Ladies sometimes at the mud puddle. I really wish I could take photos of the moving insects. Maybe Santa Claus will bring me a decent camera and telephoto lens for Christmas!

Actually I do have a 'sort of' photo of one but it is behind the Dutchman's Britches flower and I posted it a while back and only FTM noticed it!

I took care of a friend's place for 10 days recently and her property is covered in Paw Paws with little fruit (all related plants) but it is the host plant for the Zebra Swallowtail and I saw them flitting around in the bottomlands near the marsh and also visiting the one coneflower plant she has. She cannot keep hardly any plants due to heavy deer predation. She has two twin does from last year, Holly and Polly, and Holly has one fawn and Polly two. I did see them cruising through the property. They come to drink out of the bird bath I filled each day.

My prior photo with the Zebra under the blooms:

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Here is a link that might be useful: Zebra Swallowtail Images:-)


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sun, Jul 22, 07 at 12:02

Jean, you DID moon us, but you did it with style, lady! LOL Dang, that's the best moon pic I've ever seen! Absolutely incredible!!!

And that swallowtail looks like it's glowing! SO beautiful. I haven't seen any butterflies here at all, and my butterfly weed died during our freakishly cold winter. I hope we get the usual painted lady migration this year, though. I forget when that happens...

FTM had a good eye! That pic looks like a painting, CT. With a special secret. :D

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

OK - I went out to my buttefly bush and took 30 photos and I end up with one that I can post. I have all these great close-ups of the plants and blurry butterflies! I had 4 species stop and I managed this marginal photo of a Variegated Fritillary - Euptoieta claudia. I also saw some type of duskywing, a silver spotted skipper, and a spicebush swallowtail. No zebras right now.

I think I will take photos of them when they are farther away since in most of the photos I can see details about 5 feet out and not at two feet or less when everything is moving. We have a lot of wind right now and that butterfly bush was whipping around quite a bit.

Jean - if I ever get a decent camera I am going to give you a run for your money on insect photos:-) LOL - WINK - WINK, etc. etc. :-)

Varigated Fritillary

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Ok - I went back out and got a few more from underneath the buttefly bush which turned out better than being at eye level or above the plant on my porch. Also - noted two praying mantis and a pretty stargazer lily.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) with sunlight through her wings. Remember she has the two big eyes and the Painted Lady has four smaller eyes.
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Reverse view of the American Lady.
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Praying Mantis (two different individuals)

On a hoya plant in the classic praying pose
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Much larger one in a different potted plant. This bugger bit me as I positioned it around a bit. It had quite the grip!
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Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus)
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Boa Constrictor - St. George, Grenada West Indies - compliments of a friend that took this photo on his veranda. They help keep the rodent population in check and sometimes get into his house.
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Bumblebee sleeping on a flower
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Close-up of the Stargazer Lily in the sunlight. Now, wouldn't it have been nice if a great big buttefly, maybe a Malachite, landed on this flower first! LOL

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

CT, great photos, but I DON'T want a boa in my house - eewwww - I really don't do snakes, when we meet, I run one way and they slither the other!

Jeanner - I have now been mooned by the best! Great Photo!


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 23, 07 at 11:04

Mega dittos on the boa! I'll just (try to) keep my owl around for critters. :D

GREAT pics, CT!! My favorite has to be the bumblebee! I didn't know mantiseseseses bite! I mean, it makes sense with that mouth, but...did it hurt?? I don't think I'll cuddle with them anymore, though. LOL

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Hey, I love being mooned like that! What a spectacular photo! I also really love the butterflies, glad i can see yours ,i didn't have many this year and i even planted a lot for them. Something happened to our hummers, bees, and butterflies, i believe we have a toxic neighbor :-( --We had a bunch of everything in April and early May and then blammo they were all gone for about 6 weeks. They are slowly returning but i was VERY upset! I know someone hurt them :-(-----I am so glad to see yours though! I even love praying mantises but i dont want to touch one. ( SHUDDER ) I would rather touch the pretty snake, Hope my mother doesn't see that she would freak out.------bonnie


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Oops, my bad - somehow in my warped little mind, insects shouldn't be in the animal kingdom. They look more like little robots, or aliens! But cute ones! Big DUH!

I'm glad you enjoyed the mooning! Isn't the internet great, I can moon anonymously!

CT, I wish I did have pipevines but I have tons of snakeroot which the pipevine swallowtails also use as a host (I believe they are in the same family). I'd love to get some seeds of the pipe vine, but are they hardy to Zone 5?

And thank you for the beautiful pictures - and admit it, wasn't that the most enjoyable part of your day? I also like the bee picture but I didn't know they took naps!

I just planted a paw-paw tree a few years ago, it's just a little thing right now but maybe I will get the zebra swallowtails some day.

I was out watering last night, it was almost dark and I had a bright pink shirt on. A hummingbird moth flew up to me and started walking up my arm, it was too cool! But when he got to my neck and started probing me for nectar I had to let him know that I was not a flower.

I did get some pictures yesterday of some of the butterflies, hopefully tonight I will have time to post.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Here's some of the butterflies that frequent my garden, still missing a few of them and I've given up on getting pictures of the cabbage butterflies and those little tiny blue butterflies, they never sit still!

These first two are of the dark form of the eastern swallowtail that I originally posted Here

Dark form eastern swallowtail
Dark form eastern swallowtail 2

The giant swallowtail, I never really got a good picture of the top of the wings but they are black with rows of yellow spots ...
Giant swallowtail

And the Spice bush swallowtail

And a Pipevine swallowtail

These are plentiful and common ....
A pair of Pearl Crescents

I think this one is a Cloudy sulfur

And last, Red Admiral

And here is the promised picture of the Wheel Bug nymph


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RE: Oops, wrong link

Here is the second picture of the dark form swallowtail ...

Dark form eastern swallowtail 2


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Tue, Jul 24, 07 at 13:41

Excellent pics, as always, Jean!! I'm SO jealous of your butterflies! They are all beautiful. I love the flower that the red admiral is on, too!

That wheel bug nymph is so crazy! It practically screams, "Don't touch me, or ELSE!" LOL

More!!! :D

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Lovely photos Jean - thanks for posting them. I have to admit being outside looking for photographic subjects sure beats dusting!

I didn't know the PVS also hosted on snakeroot. I've not found seeds for the hardy DMP but I've seen plants on sale on Ebay on occasion. They are quite the large vine with heart shaped leaves and the flowers are not showy but they would make a quick screen cover.

Oh - I am with you on trying to get a photo of the cabbage and summer blue. The only time I see the cabbage is when I walk past something and disturb it into flight and then I try to follow it and sneak up on it which is impossible. Same thing with the blue which I spook up off my moonbeam coreopsis and it flits all around the yard and I lose interest waiting for it to land somewhere (anywhere). The next thing I know I'm back at the moonbeam and it takes off again! Dang! Some of the most interesting patterned butteflies are quite small and elusive.

And my photo for today. Introducing Elvis my sponsored child in Cameroon. The photo with his father Patrick was taken in 2003 and with his mother Josephine in 2005. His father died in 2004. He is really a nice kid. He sends me drawings and letters. I send items both he and his mother can use or barter.
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I put the link to the organization in case anyone wants to see what it is about. If you click on the 'Visit a Village' there is a map you can populate with clickable links where you can meet the inhabitants and the projects in one of Plan's sponsored villages. I love listening to the villagers speak - very reserved and polite. Elvis' village is not yet so advanced. I found his location in Cameroon and he is high up on the edge of a volcanic crater near the rainforest but not quite in it. Cameroon also has dry savannah terrain. He gets rainy and dry seasons and attends school and helps his mother as peasant farmers.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plan USA


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Sat, Jul 28, 07 at 14:28

Elvis is in the building! :) What a great looking kid, CT! Good for you for helping him and his mother out. Thanks for the link, too! I visited Nyalakot, Uganda. :)

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

This beautiful butterfly landed on my hanging basket yesterday. The first few pics are taken through my sunroom window. I was afraid of scaring it away. Then I decided to venture outside to see just how close I could get without scaring it. This butterfly was so interested in getting nectar from my lantana I was able to get 3-4 inches away from it. Enjoy.

Jenny

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

  • Posted by youreit z9b CA Sunset z8-9 (My Page) on
    Mon, Jul 30, 07 at 11:10

Absolutely gorgeous!! I'd LOVE to have one of those visit my garden! The color of that Lantana is stunning, too. I love Lantanas for their nectar supply, and the things they attract.

Brenda


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Oh Jenny! Stunning photos! *WOW*

C3D


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

I second that! WOW- WOW- WOW is all i can say about all the photos on this thread! Just beautiful and gorgeous pictures on here. Everyone of them are stunning. I am so envious!
Bonnie


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Jenny! WOW is right!
We get those on and off on our butterfly bushes. I think it's a tiger swallowtail. It's the largest butterfly that we see around here - even bigger than the monarchs.

:) Mary


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Gorgeous! It is an eastern swallowtail - definitely one of my favorites. And I am seeing peeks of a pond in the background, can we see more please?????


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ok you asked for it -pics of my top pond

jeanner:

Yes, that's my top pond in the fourth pic down. Here are some pics of my water lillies in the top pond. These were taken over the weekend. The most blooms I have ever had open at one time: 9:

These were taken at around 9 a.m. before all the lillies opened.

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These were taken around noon after they all opened.

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Here is one of the many pond spiders that live at the edge of my pond. I absolutely hate, hate, HATE spiders. I was shaking so bad when I took these pics some of them are blurry. Was trying to get my floating duck and ducklings unstuck with a stick when I hit the web and noticed it. Wonder how they get that web spun from one floating planter to the next without going into the water. This spider is so colorful I couldn't resist. After I took the pics I was shaking so bad I had to go ay down after I hurled. I still get the creeps looking at it. My son can't believe I did this either. What we won't do for our ponds!!!! Lol Enjoy.

Jenny

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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Holy cow! That's gorgeous, and all so healthy! I envy your large pond .... and pond envy is not pretty :^)I only have room for one lily but I have two crammed in there.

That is a pretty spider, we need FTM to id that one! Just remember ... spiders are good .... spiders are good .... spiders are good .... spiders are good .... spiders are good ....


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RE: And another thing

So what happened to CT's pictures????? And where is she, I haven't noticed any posts from her in awhile.


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

Brenda - thanks for looking at the Plan website!

Jenny - beautiful photos of the butterfly, waterlilies and spider. I love spiders.

Jean - been taking a break and had a picture host snafu. Someone should start a new thread and let this thread pass into oblivion. Thanks.

CT


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RE: Photos - Animal, Vegetable or Mineral (and Birds) LOL

well, we used to call those banana spiders. technically Black and Yellow Garden Spider or argiope (Argiope aurantia syn. Miranda aurantia.

i was happy to see one in my strawberries one year, but never saw one since. mostly i recall walking through meadows and suddenly putting on the brakes prior to just walking into a huge web suspended b/t two tall grass clumps. if the spider weren't there, i would have. the spider REALLY makes you stp fast. big things!

Here is a link that might be useful: interesting spider page


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