Tag Archives: insects

One-Word Wednesday

This critter hung around the front of our house for several days. Freeloader!

This critter stayed on the front of our house for several days. Freeloader!

Bug!

Let Me Tell You ’Bout . . .

Neal (left) and Adam watch in awe as Eric scores in two.

My younger son’s putt is good for a birdie.

. . . the birdies . . .

(Eric [top] and my younger son [bottom] clang the chains with their second shots during last Tuesday’s Southwest Handicap Mini at the First Colony Aquatic Center; all 18 holes were par 3s.)

Definitely a hazard near one of the baskets

Definitely a hazard near one of the baskets

. . . and the bees!

Coming Out Party

Not the clearest photo, but you can see the two moths around the opened cocoon.

Not the clearest photo, but you can see the two moths around the opened cocoon.

Since I mentioned those pesky asps in yesterday’s post, this seemed like the perfect opportunity for an update.

I’m happy to report that two or three of the cocoons have burst open, leading to the debut of four or six puss moths. Apparently, two (one big, one small) emerged from each one. Surprised the heck out of me.

When I checked on the chrysalis the first night it appeared, I could see that the cocoon on top of the arch near the caterpillar’s temporary home had opened. The next morning I used my Nikon 70-200mm lens with the 1.7x teleconverter to snap mediocre photos.

This doesn’t look promising.

This doesn’t look promising.

Then I examined the icky, disturbing cocoon on the front door jamb. It looked like I was going to be able to watch this moth emerge up close and personal, complete with clear, crisp photos. An apt reward for having to be careful not to harm the pupa for months. I was stoked!

However, nature gypped me! The moth never got beyond pushing part of his body out and remains in this still-life position. Darn it!

Where did they come from?

Where did they come from?

The next day when I was walking along the driveway, I noticed two southern flannel moths lounging together under the house’s overhang. But there was no cocoon nearby. Just the two critters. So I’m not sure if these were the same moths from the entryway or newbies.

Visitors who can’t quite reach the doorbell.

Visitors who can’t quite reach the doorbell.

Later that morning as I was going into the house, I saw two more little, furry beasts, this time near the front door.

They looks cute!

They look cute!

Moths are nocturnal, so I wasn’t surprised that none of the critters I saw moved an inch during the day. But at night it was their time to fly without saying bye.

We still have several cocoons high up on the front entry and around the house, so the asp Motel 6 still is, unfortunately, in business. We continue to leave the light on.

One-Word Wednesday

I found this little, orange critter crawling on our recycling bin yesterday.

I found this little, orange critter crawling on our recycling bin yesterday.

Ladybug!

Brushin’ Up With the Bees

Love seeing all this brilliant red

Love seeing all this brilliant red (can you spot the bee?)

One of my favorite flowers in my neighborhood is the bottlebrush.

Lots of buds means more brushes

Lots of buds means more brushes

During the winter (or what passes as winter for the Houston area), its bushes look just about dead.

Starting to look like a brush

Starting to look like a brush

Then April hits and boom! Buds emerge followed by those lovely, red bristles. You can’t help but touch them.

Starting to fill out

Filling out more

Did you know that the bottlebrush is native to Australia? Wonder how it got all the way to Texas.

“Cover me, I’m going in!”

“Cover me, I’m going in!”

I know that those danged bees definitely are glad it did. They sure were protective of the ones I was shooting, much to my dismay and apiphobia.

It was yet another in my many “brushes” with the pesky, little stingers!

A New Twist On an Old Children’s Tale

Our beautiful butterfly bush a week ago

Our beautiful butterfly bush a week ago

One of our favorite books to read to our boys back in the day was “The Very Hungry Caterpillar.” Oh, how our sons loved turning each colorful page, wonderfully written and illustrated by Eric Carle, to see what the the critter was up to . . . and eating . . . next! It was a family classic.

Little did I realize that a dozen or so years later that we would be living out our very own version of that cute story. But we had to rename it.

Hi, guys!

Hi, guys!

We call our tale, “The Very Voracious Caterpillars . . . Plus Tiny.” The plot is simple: First, we had lovely blooms on the butterfly bush in our front yard.

Munch munch!

Munch munch!

Then last Monday, I noticed two monarch caterpillars slowly but surely eating up the plant. Of course, that’s what it’s for: To eventually grow butterflies.

Welcome to the family, little guy!

Welcome to the family, little guy!

The next day Tiny, the smallest caterpillar I’ve ever seen, joined the group on the vegetation. Unfortunately, for him, there was no way he could out-eat his jumbo brethren.

The trio

The trio

The other two hogs kept growing larger, while Tiny, well, he kept his petite figure.

Gnawing on the bone

Gnawing on the bone

By last Wednesday morning, the plant was stripped bare. Plus one of the big guys had wandered away. All that was left was one still-voracious caterpillar and Tiny.

A thorny situation

A thorny situation

So the big guy inched his way over to a nearby rose bush, while Tiny got lost in the mulch.

The bare butterfly bush

The bare butterfly bush

Unlike the Carle version, our yarn doesn’t have a happy ending . . . yet. I lost track of the big guy and Tiny and haven’t seen any of the three hanging off the house or forming chrysalises.

But I remain hopeful that one of these days a gorgeous monarch butterfly will flit my way and wave hello . . . and good-bye.

Horticulture Class

Note the pods!

Note the pods!

A recent article in the “Houston Chronicle” informed us that bluebonnets are part of the bean (legume) family. That struck me as odd, because I had never seen pods near our beloved state flower (yes, images from “The Body Snatchers” did just pop into my head!).

Until last Sunday.

It was too nice of a day to stay inside . . . especially if it meant decluttering, which we need to do desperately. So instead the Mister and I (plus my Nikon dSLR and Nikon 105mm macro lens) left my 10-mile comfort radius and made the big drive to Houston. First, we enjoyed lunch at Goode Co. BBQ. When I saw a small patch of bluebonnets across the street, I walked over and snapped the above pic.

Podsapalooza!!

Almost looks patriotic

Almost looks patriotic

Eventually we ended up at TC Jester Park, where I’ve snapped many a disc golf and wildflower photo. The place was brimming with beauty! Bluebonnets were plentiful.

Over and over

Crimson and clover, over and over

As well as bright crimson clovers (anyone else hearing the Tommy James and the Shondells’ song playing in their head?).

Ready for a drink

Ready for a drink

Winecups dotted the scenery.

Ready to dance

Dance time

Plus a few Mexican hats.

Small but mighty

Small but mighty

Tiny flowers added bits of brightness, too.

Naturally, others horned in on my fun.

King of the bluebonnet!

King of the bluebonnet!

I didn’t mind sharing the experience with skippers and butterflies.

Snuggling with an Indian blanket

Snuggling with an Indian blanket

But, as usual, there were too many bees. I know how important they are in nature. However, when they start chasing me away, I can almost hear them taunting me as they buzz . . .

Part of nature’s cycle

Please bee nice

“Class dismissed!”