Wildlife Wednesday

  • Gardening,  Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildlife Wednesday

    American Lady Caterpillars (Vanessa virginiensis) | Wildlife Wednesday

    Last spring we were fairy negligent about weeding our paths. Up popped all sorts of interesting but less desired native and non-native plants, including what I think was Pennsylvania cudweed, Gamochaeta pensylvanica. I knew they hosted American lady caterpillars but I had never seen any on the plants around our yard before so I left them to see what would happen. We had adults flitting about the Texas ragwort that grows in the front yard during March-late April and I knew there was a good chance we would see the caterpillars if I gave them time. And they arrived! The caterpillars make little leaf nests like other species such as…

  • Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Big Thicket Coral Snake Encounter | Wildlife Wednesday

    It’s been a hot minute since we’ve seen a coral snake so we were delighted to find one crossing the road on our way to the Watson Preserve one evening back in May. The road is lightly traveled, being residential and all, but we still stopped to get out, take photos, and to block other cars from coming and intentionally killing this beauty. We haven’t seen one in our yard in a few years so I figure we’re due for one soon!

  • 30 Days of Writing,  Creative,  Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Magnolia-cone Mushroom, Strobilurus conigenoides | Wildlife Wednesday

    While fungi aren’t quite wildlife or plants and I probably should have called this Fungi Friday instead, we’re going to shuffle our mushroom friends to a Wildlife Wednesday today. And while we’re enjoying Second Summer, I’m dreaming about a day that will come soon enough, one that requires a light fleece in the morning, warming to the high 60s or low 70s mid-day, but under foot, while traipsing about the woods, are tiny mushrooms growing on decaying magnolia cones. I first saw magnolia-cone mushrooms, Strobilurus conigenoides, a few years ago when out in Sam Houston National Forest, not realizing that they were a specialized fungus that grew only on magnolia…

  • Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens | Wildlife Wednesday

    Today’s Wednesday post is Wildlife Wednesday and a very gorgeous Bumelia Borer, Plinthocoelium suaveolens. Unfortunately our friend here was not alive, which made it a lot easier to photograph outside of our Dripping Springs AirBnB last summer. As the common name suggests, the larvae feed on the trunks and roots of bumelia species, Sideroxylon sp., the most common species in Texas being Sideroxylon lanuginosum, gum bumelia. Gum bumelia always tricks me a bit and I will initially think it is an Ilex decidua until I look closer and note my location and realize it’s a bumelia. The larvae also utilize Nyssa and Morus species, too. I’ll keep my commentary short…

  • Gardening,  Memes,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Egg to Caterpillar, Giant Swallowtail (Papilio cresphontes) | Wildlife Wednesday

    Over a month ago now, I noticed a giant swallowtail ovipositing on the rue. I had bought pots of rue a year or two ago just for this reason and to have another source of food for when they came through and found my citrus instead—it was a place to relocate them as necessary. But in this time I had yet to see any activity on the plant and thought that maybe nothing would come of it after all. But then as I took a break from pulling weeds, sweat rolling down my entire body, I saw an adult visiting and as soon as her abdomen curved I knew it…

  • Gardening,  Memes,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Variegated Fritillary (Euptoieta claudia) caterpillar | Wildlife Wednesday

    A few weeks ago I was deep into one of the edible perimeter beds by the blackberries, weeding. I’ve let a small crop of native violets grow in there because they are edible and also pretty. I’ve been transplanting some of the ones that crop up in other parts of the garden to the flower garden but the deer come and browse on those which is another reason I keep the ones tucked inside the edible garden. I noticed a caterpillar. It resembled a gulf frittilary but those munch on passiflora vines. I took a few phone photos and then went to grab my dSLR and reverse macro lens and…

  • Memes,  Outdoors,  Texas,  Travel & Places,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Zebra Swallowtail Caterpillar (Eurytides marcellus) | Wildlife Wednesday

    Our trip to east Texas last weekend had us visiting the Watson Rare Native Plant Preserve and two Big Thicket National Preserve units, the Turkey Creek Unit (and the Pitcher Plant Trail) and the Hickory Creek Savannah Unit (and the Sundew Trail). I can’t recall where we saw the first zebra swallowtail adult fly by but we did end up seeing several along the Sundew Trail. One of them was flying slow and low to the ground, which at first had us thinking it was searching for nectar plants. But it avoided several flowering plants and I finally decided it was looking for pawpaws to lay eggs! From then Chris…

  • Memes,  Outdoors,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Giant Swallowtail on Hercules’ Club | Wildlife Wednesday

    Finding a caterpillar chrysalis in the wild can be quite the feat and is something you typically have to be looking for. Even in my own garden, when the monarchs or gulf fritillaries head off to pupate, unless they are front and center and attaching them to our front porch (gulf frits) or on plants nearby the milkweed (monarchs) we typically cannot find the chrysalides. Chris lucked out as he was tying extra ropes from the tent to a nearby tree in preparation for a storm that would hit during our Thanksgiving camping trip that was expected to have high wind—and found a chrysalis on the Hercules’ club (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis)…

  • Arkansas,  Memes,  Outdoors,  Travel & Places,  Wildlife Wednesday

    Red-Spotted Purple Butterfly, Limenitis arthemis astyanax | Wildlife Wednesday

    As seems to be the general case these days, I was digging around on my backup hard drive looking for another particular photo or set of photos and came across our photos from when Chris and I joined my brother and dad to hike the Eagle Rock Loop on the Ouachita Mountains of Arkansas back in 2012. You can read day 1, day 2, and day 3 here. For those entries I had put together the photos into a sort of mosaic, mostly trying to conglomerate how many photos I had per post into something more reasonable, a feat that I’ve never really been able to replicate or reduce because…