One of the finches from my last post seems to have gotten the girl.
Here’s the happy couple. I was off work today…I love being out in my yard with camera in hand in the mornings…Some of these were last weekend, some were this morning.
I was so excited to see this guy in our lantana butterfly garden! S/he’s a Gray Hairstreak, which I’ve only seen one other time and it was in Scottsdale, not our yard. (Click photos for more detail in the morning light.)
Hairstreaks are fascinating to me because of their “protective mimicry.” They have “fake” heads on the backs of their wings in order to fool predators as their tails are expendable but, obviously, their heads are not.
And my little buddies, the Skippers are back, too, in full force.
There are so many varieties of Skippers that I’m not sure what this particular one is but he doesn’t look like the ones I usually see, which I always assumed were Fiery Skippers. I’ve been checking my fave website for AZ butterfly ID’ing but I can’t quite figure this one out.
The mockingbirds (and hummingbirds) are keeping busy, too.
And the bees are digging it all, too. Spring is definitely here in Phoenix.
This cute finch was showing off the other day…(click on photos for more detail.)
He was doing all kinds of acrobatics up in the tree…for another finch. I thought it might be some sort of mating ritual but I think they were both males (although I’m no finch expert) so maybe it was a territorial thing or maybe he was just having a good time.
At any rate, the other one seemed totally unimpressed.
It rained here on Friday night and Saturday and our internet got knocked out. I’m now sitting in a coffeehouse on Sunday night because I couldn’t take it anymore…it’s a good thing it doesn’t rain here often because, when it does, either our phone or internet frequently go out. CenturyLink is now “waiting for parts” to come in. I feel bad for all the kids in our neighborhood who might have put off their homework until Sunday night and need the internet to get it done…or people who had to get some work done before Monday…
Posted in Home
Tagged Finches, Flora, Home
So I saw this guy flitting around our yard this past weekend and thought for a minute that it was a Painted Lady, which I have already seen this spring in our yard numerous times.
But something didn’t seem quite right and it was not a Painted Lady, but rather a Red Admiral, of the same Brushfoot family of butterflies (also including Monarchs, Fritillaries, and many more). This is the largest butterfly family with about 6,000 species distributed throughout most of the world.
I love finding new-to-me butterflies (and birds) so it was my lucky day!
We have an inadvertent butterfly garden with all the lantana we have. The butterflies flock to it, and since I’ve already seen several types there this spring, when my first sighting last year was not until April, I’m hoping for many more new varieties this year.
For comparison, this is the Painted Lady I photographed a few days ago:
And here’s a bonus moth below. This is a White-Lined Sphinx Moth.
Moths are similar to butterflies, but lack a distinct club at tip of antennae and have wing scales with softer edges. Butterflies are mostly diurnal and moths mostly nocturnal – with many exceptions. Our bug lights don’t seem to deter them so we have to work at keeping them outside, by keeping the light by the door off, so Google doesn’t enjoy them for sport and snack. Mothra!
This mockingbird is jumping for joy because we have a winner in my 5th Blogiversary Giveaway! In fact, since I had 11 entries, I decided to have a second prize, too. So we have TWO winners!
This year, Google, being tech-savvy, suggested we use a random number generator to choose the winners instead of the old slips-of-paper-in-a-hat method we have used in the past (2012, 2011, 2010).
So Marbles, who is more of a traditionalist, finally concurred, and somewhat reluctantly joined in. Hit the button, boys!
Deborah won the red heart journal that I showed previously!
Pat won the little, blingy butterfly journal as a second prize!
Here is the butterfly journal on top of the heart journal. I will send these out in a couple days and notify you by email.
I wish I had 11 prizes. If any of you would like a consolation prize, I will gladly send you one of the moo.com postcards that I will be receiving in a week or so. I had 3 different photos done so I have plenty. Email me your address (maccandace at aol dot com) if you would like one or leave a message here and I’ll contact you.
Meanwhile, thank you very much for reading and entering. And here are a few more birdy shots from this morning in my yard.
Yup, these guys are~possibly unwisely~building a nest in our cat’s claw vine up under the eaves.
“I think it’s a most excellent idea,” says Svengali, which is why I’m concerned about future baby birdies.
And I have no idea where these guys build their nests but there have to be some close by. I always worry when people (including us) trim their trees and bushes that they will accidentally cut a hummer nest down.
There are at least two elusive verdins around so I hope they keep their nest that way, too.
I would like for all species to stay safe in our yard this spring…and beyond.
Hey, if you want to enter my giveaway, you have until 2/22 at 12:01 am to do so in the comment section of my last post. So far, I only have 10 entries!