Nature Tidbits from 2021


With my blogging taking a significant hit over the last year mostly due to a lack of desire to write, I now realize I have a lot of things I can post about now that the desire to write here is back. With that, today I’m going to share some random nature bits from the last year, mostly from my yard or neighborhood but also some other areas around the state! Let’s dive in!

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First up is a spring ephemeral that comes up in and around our yard (and the state), scrambled eggs, Corydalis sp.. There are a couple of species and this one is likely to be aurea or micrantha, likely the latter.

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The always lovely Herbertia lahue

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A box turtle! I actually saw several last year, which was exciting. This one found itself in the yard at work.

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Another office find, this is an Imperial moth that Chris found on the back of one of our work buildings.

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Beach evening primrose, Oenothera drummondii on Galveston Island

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I found this momma wolf spider with her spiderlings clinging to her back one evening in the garden. She let me take some photos before I finally let her go about the business of caring for her brood.

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We see racoons from time to time and I know they are around a lot more frequently than we usually see but one evening one of them came out to scrounge in the compost piles for a bit.

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Some lovely lemon beebalm, Monarda citriodora, at a field site locally during the summer.

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And some meadow pinks, Sabatia campestris, to go with them!

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A newly emerged pipevine swallowtail that I moved from the door to the man cave where the chrysalis had been. I had caught it mere moments from it emerging and it was barely clinging to the door and chrysalis. I went in to grab my phone and by then it had fallen to the ground so I moved it where it would better be able to dry its wings.

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A gray hairstreak, Strymon melinus, at the San Antonio Botanic Garden

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A checkered white, Pontia protodice also at SA Botanic Garden

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American sicklepod, Senna obtusifolia on yet another field site, though this one has since been wiped away to bare dirt—yay, more concrete boxes and parking lots!

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Same site, a Passiflora incarnata

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Also, same site, a lovely Celithemis eponina—sorry friend, you and your brethren will have to find another spot to rest.

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Our front door is usually host to great moths throughout the year, such as this yellow-collared slug moth, Apoda y-inversa.

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And this even cooler Tersa sphinx, Xylophanes tersa!

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Aztec Spur-throated grasshopper, Aidemona azteca, one of the middle instars I believe.

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Cloudless sulphur, Phoebis sennae, caterpillar on one of the sennas I posted above.

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A green lynx spider, Peucetia viridans, probably looking for caterpillars, one of the senna as well.

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One of our beautiful orb weavers, Argiope aurantia in the garden at home.

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Chris and I noticed bladderwort on the other pond in our neighborhood for the first time. I haven’t keyed this one out yet!

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Wand blackroot, Pterocaulon virgatum, a not super common or well-known native. I’ve seen it a few times but spotted it in the neighborhood this summer and grabbed some seeds which I am trying to grow out now.

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We caught a snapping turtle moving from one back dune wetland pond to another while driving down one of the beach access roads in Galveston back in September.

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Achemon Sphinx, Eumorpha achemon, a lucky find I spotted near our dam one evening. It was happily munching away on peppervine. I tried to find it again the following evening but had no luck. Hopefully it managed to pupate and will live a second life as a moth.

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Black-blotched Schizura moth, Schizura leptinoides–this was an interesting find in our yard. We were working on the edible garden beds and I was wheeling some dirt or debris to the burn pile one weekend morning and happened to look over to a hickory tree and saw the caterpillar. Forest and I oohed and ahhed for a few minutes before putting it back onto the tree.

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Spiranthes cernua, a rather common ground orchid that happens to come up in our yard in the fall. I love seeing them! Gotta catch them before the deer mow them down.

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Hübner’s Pero Moth, Pero ancetaria, from our front porch.

That’s it, a bit of nature to get your day going! I’m doing my best to get back up and running here with multiple posts a week, so stay tuned!

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3 thoughts on “Nature Tidbits from 2021

  1. Judy Bass says:

    You have quite a lot of nature. Oddly, I get a lot of turtles in my yard and we are in a populated area.

  2. shoreacres says:

    I’m astonished by the variety of caterpillars. I suppose part of it’s because of the variety of plants around your place. I knew most of the flowers, except for that senna and the Wand blackroot. I’d never even heard of that one. I’m choosing to work this weekend, because I just wasn’t willing to go out in the cold yesterday and today, but once I get my current job done, it ought to be time to get out and about and see what’s happening. I have been finding wild strawberries!

  3. Ashley Wold says:

    You see the coolest things! I love your blog and the photos you take. It’s especially nice to read through your posts during winter when I’m dreaming of warmer weather. 🙂

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