Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Caterpillar Tartare?

A young hawk visited this week and sat on the fence rail as he studied various parts of the garden. He suddenly swooped down into one of the overgrown pollinator sections and came away with a prize. At first I couldn't quite figure out what he grabbed, but then I realized he must have gotten one of the large gooey caterpillars that use Ludwigia spp. as a larval host. I had spotted a rather large specimen of a
Banded Sphinx Moth Caterpillar (Eumorpha fasciatus) a few days earlier. He stared at me and didn't even offer to share what he held in his claws.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Life List Dragonfly

I noticed a dragonfly which appeared to have squared off wings, something I'd never seen before. Reminded me of those planes we watched in old time movies that rapidly crashed after getting about 3 feet airborne. Said dragonfly was quite elusive and me without the zoom camera, only the point and shoot. I followed stealthily and caught a picture or two, enough to identify the Band-winged Dragonlet (Erythrodiplax umbrata). Upon close-up inspection on computer screen, the wings are normal shape, just the outer edges are nearly invisible making the darkness of the bands give an allusion of wing squareness. Thrilled with a new member of my buggy life list, I now will try to get a better photograph, perhaps some early morning when the dragons are a little less lively.

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