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Archive for the ‘Unusual Insects’ Category

…… and picked up the exact color of the Gum tree ……… AMAZING !!!

 

 

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Well, I came across a Hornets nest hanging about 20′ high in a tree today. All these photos taken with a long lens:

Bald Faced Hornets

Bald Faced Hornets

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After a disastrous 2013, where I spotted maybe 3-4 Monarchs, 2014 is looking up, During the past week, I have seen about 50-75 each morning cruising Southwestward towards Mexico. Yesterday morning I saw over 100; simply cruising in that same direction. Today there are 7 on one butterfly bush (non-native) on a stop over. With several more days of nice weather forecast here; these appears to be a GOOD year for them. I’ll never forget 2012, when I had about 1,000 on a snakeroot patch behind my home. I took a short video of one that was on the bush with 6 others at 4:05 PM this afternoon taken with a handheld Canon G15:

 

 

 

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As rare as the endangered Diana Fritillary (previous Post) is, the Spangled Fritillary is common and widespread. The Gulf Fritillary is fairly common here in the mountains. For example, I see the Spangled Fritillaries many times each day (May through October) and I have seen the Gulf Fritillary 2 dozen times this spring and summer. The Gulf Fritillary uses the native Passion Flower Vine as its host plant and these flowers are very common here in Newton County, Arkansas.

 

Spangled Fritillary

Spangled Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

Gulf Fritillary

native Passion Flower (HOST) for Gulf Fritillary

native Passion Flower (HOST) for Gulf Fritillary

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Still 2 weeks away from the official start of autumn ! But a 64F this morning with N Breeze and a sunny and beautiful day, I trekked down to the Little Buffalo River and sat in the shade next to a patch of wildflowers next to the stream and photographed a few juvenile Hummingbirds on some recently emerging Great Blue Lobelia; from there, the day just got more beautiful !! I was then joined by an Eastern Wood PeeWee gleaning aquatic insects from over the flowing water and a beautiful Gulf Fritillary on a white blossom:

 

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Butterflies have been scarce due to the heavy rains of July. I saw a few Pipe-vine swallowtails on a butterfly bush this afternoon – the sun just now came out – this photo taken with a 300mm telephoto lens:

 

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This morning, I watched as mostly baby Hummingbirds and Honeybees shared a feeder after it was filled. They seem to get along quite well and both need nectar right now. The males Hummingbirds seem to be on the decline; and I see fewer and fewer adult Females. They are now drinking 2 gallons per day. My guess, is that they are largely juveniles; born within the past month. Photos were taken this morning as 10:00 AM; all photos taken in a 20 second period:

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