Saturday, July 28, 2012

A caterpillar survival story for camera critters

An amazing survival story! I have been raising Monarch butterfly caterpillars  recently and I  now have 3 which have changed into beautiful jade green chrysalis.   I was a bit confused  though, as I had thought I had had 4 caterpillars. What had happened to the fourth one? ? Mystery solved!  My husband,David found it this morning when he found a chrysallis attached to the wall of our back sun porch when he moved some furniture away from the wall.  Perhaps the caterpillar had been mixed in with old milkweed leaves and got dropped as I was cleaning out the insect cage , replacing the old leaves with newer, fresher ones.  Luckily it didn't get thrown out with the garbage with the old leaves!Wow! What a neat discovery! Hopefully we can preserve and protect it until it changes into an adult Monarch butterfly! Hmmm... what about protecting it from the cat and visiting grandchildren? What a remarkable opportunity to study the chyrsallis up close!
August 2nd. update: This morning I noticed that the chrysalis appeared to look quite dark.  Looking closely up close I could see the folded wings of the Monarch butterfly within.  How beautiful.  I hope I am lucky enough  to see the chrysalis break and watch the butterfly unfold its wings!

What I find most pleasing about this discovery is that I had read that the caterrpillar attaches itself by weaving a silk-like mat to hang from.  In this picture we can see the white  attachment! How lovely!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

sapsucker with red accents for Ruby Tuesday 2

I have featured this sapsucker before, but in this photo the red on its head and nape is so very red and intense that I thought it deserving of another mention.  This woodpecker species is very hard on our trees. You can see the holes on the branch that it has made to access the sap in the tree. This is a Russian mountain Ash that the sapsucker is feeding on.
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Monday, July 23, 2012

We saw a White Pigeon!

When driving home past an old barn, at Central Blissville along highway #!01, last Thursday( July 19th, 2012), my husband said, "There's a white pigeon on the barn  roof!". I turned for a quick glance and when I saw it I said, "You have to turn around and go back so that I can get a picture of it". I got out of our truck and crossed to the barn side of the road and took a few pictures.  Then a very noisy vehicle came roaring by and all of the pigeons flew away.  I haven't seen the white one since.

Yellow Stripes of a Monarch Butterfly Caterpillar for Mellow Yellow Monday

  Shown above is a plastic insect cage which I have put the caterpillars in.  I also included an ample supply of milkweed leaves, changed daily to provide fresh leaves , for the caterpillars to munch on.  The plastic cage has air vents at the top of the cage to allow for ventilation.  My purpose in collecting the caterpillars is to observe the process of metamorphosis. (to watch a caterpillar change into an adult monarch butterfly.)

  The change began as the caterpillar climbed up to the top of the cage and wove a silk-like mat" to attach itself too. The caterpillar then hung itself in a "j" shape. The next step I wasn't lucky enough to observe but the caterpillar's outer covering then broke or split  and the caterpillar shrugged it off, revealing a beautiful jade green casing underneath. The soft green casing gradually will harden into a tough shell.  During the next 9 to 14 days a monarch butterfly will develop  from the caterpillar's body as  metamorphosis  takes place.
nature controlling
urges within create change
  At the present time I have two beautiful green chrysalis hanging in my insect cages. I shall be watching and taking pictures  as this change occurs.

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Monday, July 09, 2012

A male yellow bellied sapsucker for Ruby Tuesday two

we have a Buckthorn tree  in our backyard.  Other summers I have noticed it is  favourite place for sapsuckers to visit.  Now I know why!  The trunk of the Buckthorn is riddled with holes and its trunk is glistening with sap. Yesterday I set my birdcam up on a tripod focused on the tree trunk.  Downloading was a delight!!!!  Yes, the sapsucker appeared there, a male adult and a juvenile but no sign of a female with yellow on her markings yet, but the really neat surprise was to see a hummingbird feeding there sipping the sap and also a couple of  orange butterflies,; anglewings I think
a question mark, or maybe they are commas, I don't know  which for sure.
This morning I got this picture  above of the adult male.  I find its colouring so beautiful! We also have
 a young Downy Woodpecker which is seen feeding at the tree trunk often.

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Yellow Ants for Mellow Yellow Monday

I had never seen yellow ants before, that is, until yesterday. We were along and old unpaved graveled woods road looking for rocks to put in our garden. Its fascinating what you  can find under rocks, we were hoping to see  a salamander yesterday but we didn't see any.  but we did find a couple of fascinting species.First, shown below were  a bunch of
yellow ants scurrying about trying to save their eggs. There were a lot of ants and eggs there.
Also we found a small toad under a big rock  , it was rather an earthy coloured creature.  I didn't see it at first, then David pointed it out to me. Its amazing that such things live under big, heavy rocks.  Sorry toad and ants but your rock 'home dome' is now in our garden possibily  becoming a new home dome for some other  earthy creatures.
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Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Recent Frog Sightings

On Sunday my husband and I were out driving and stopped along an old woods road to look at some rocks along the side of the road.  It was a bit moist and wet there and my husband drew my attention to a small handsome creature there., because of its brown and, black colouing we at first thought it might be a toad, thinking, if it were a frog, it should be green, but no we were wrong.  this handsome looking little amphibian was a Pickerel Frog! The first of this species that I have ever seen.  A great find!  Thank you , David.

And a week or so ago I turned to drive into a favourite woods road but my way was impeded by a huge puddle.  I shifted into 4 wheel drive thinking I would drive through it , when I saw a frog in the middle of it. Its a good thing I saw you basking there, Mr. Green Frog because I took your picture rather than driving through your home.