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Not many ripe Red Mulberries yet, but they seem to find them (Males brighter orange and more black):IMG_8958

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Got a few photos before the sun came out early this morning. A pair of White Eyed Vireos; first the male, then the female, them the two of them building nest together:

male White Eyed Vireo

male White Eyed Vireo

Female White Eyed Vireo

Female White Eyed Vireo

Nest building together

Nest building together

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Thanks for watching my BLOG !

 

Today, Christmas Eve day, I drove by the Boxley Mill Pond and saw a pair of Wood Ducks, and was only able to photograph the male using a Canon 7D and a Canon EF 300L IS f/2.8 Lens with a 1.4 TC yielding 420mm on the 7D’s crop sensor or 672mm of magnification on this gloomy day. They represent to color of the holiday season to me – so colorful !!!

 

Male Wood Duck

Male Wood Duck

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I have only seen these a few times in my 67 years. Mostly, during my childhood in east-central Missouri. I would see maybe 1 each week. Then later in my 20’s I would see a few by the Huzzah Creek in south-central Missouri. That I can remember, that is the last time I saw one. Until Yesterday !

It is the Diana Fritillary Butterfly. Since then they have retreated to only two know locations: the Southern Appalachians in North Carolina and parts of South-Carolina AND in the mountains of Arkansas and Oklahoma; primarily the Ouachita’s.

The Diana Fritillary (Speyeria diana) is a butterfly found in several wooded areas in southern and eastern North America (primarily in the Arkansas River valley, several counties in South Carolina, and spots along the Appalachian mountain range). The species exhibits marked sexual dimorphism, with males of the species exhibiting an orange color on the edges of their wings, with a burnt orange underwing. Females are dark blue, with dark, almost dusty underwings, and are also larger than males.

The larvae feed on violet leaves. Dianas are unusual in that they do not lay their eggs directly on the host plant, instead scattering the eggs around the base of the plant. Upon hatching, larvae burrow into the ground over winter to emerge in spring. Adults feed on flower nectar and dung.

On February 28, 2007, Act 156 of the Arkansas General Assembly designated the Diana fritillary as the official state butterfly. Introduced by Representative John Paul Wells of Logan County, the legislation for making the butterfly a state symbol took note of the butterfly’s beauty, educational importance, and impact on tourism. Arkansas is the only state to designate the Diana fritillary as its state butterfly; pairing it with its state insect, the honeybee. Arkansas is the twenty-sixth state to designate a butterfly as a state symbol.

So 40 years later ……….

The photo I took yesterday is of a pretty beat up Male Diana Fritillary; near the Diana’s Host woodland violets. Taken with a Canon 70D with a Canon EF300L IS f/2.8 from 10 feet:

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He appeared Sunday and I got off about 40 shots at a very long range with a 840mm Lens:

Yellow-rumped Warblers are impressive in the sheer numbers with which they flood the continent each fall. Shrubs and trees fill with the streaky brown-and-yellow birds and their distinctive, sharp chips. Though the color palette is subdued all winter, you owe it to yourself to seek these birds out on their spring migration or on their breeding grounds. Spring molt brings a transformation, leaving them a dazzling mix of bright yellow, charcoal gray and black, and bold white.

  • Size & Shape

    Yellow-rumped Warblers are fairly large, full-bodied warblers with a large head, sturdy bill, and long, narrow tail.

  • Color Pattern

    In summer, both sexes are a smart gray with flashes of white in the wings and yellow on the face, sides, and rump. Males are very strikingly shaded; females are duller and may show some brown. Winter birds are paler brown, with bright yellow rump and usually some yellow on the sides.

  • Behavior

    Yellow-rumped Warblers typically forage in the outer tree canopies at middle heights. They’re active, and you’ll often see them sally out to catch insects in midair, sometimes on long flights. In winter they spend lots of time eating berries from shrubs, and they often travel in large flocks.

  • Habitat

    In summer, Yellow-rumped Warblers are birds of open coniferous forests and edges, and to a lesser extent deciduous forests. In fall and winter they move to open woods and shrubby habitats, including coastal vegetation, parks, and residential areas.

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