Wednesday, November 30, 2011


When I came home today from doing errands, two girls and a grandmother were staring intently at a Gulf Fritillary adult in my front yard. After they showed it to me, I looked for immatures. I had been watching the late season butterflies for the past few days. I found one caterpillar quickly, then they found another. I also showed them the chrysalis. It is a bit small and dark. I hope it is okay.

The caterpillars are on my Passiflora Berkeley. They really seem to like those tender leaves.

The girls go to a local school and where the teachers are raising anise swallowtails in the classroom. Yay for butterfly education!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Butterflies and Water


At Insecta-Palooza next year, the theme is water. That got me to thinking about butterflies and water. Caterpillars don't drink. They get all the liquid they need out of plants they eat. Butterflies are known for drinking nectar from flowers. But they will also sip from urine puddles, rotting fruit, and wet mud. When butterflies gather at wet areas, it is called "puddling." No one knows why they do that. Maybe they need the minerals in the water. Or maybe they need some ballast. But I am thinking of doing a papercraft with butterflies "puddling." Check out my pic. I think it needs a little work. And I still haven't finished the one about things that kill butterflies. I guess I am getting ahead of myself. Oh well...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Two More Butterfly Presentations

Andy and I gave a butterfly presentation for a Merritt College class yesterday. One of the people there, Tora, liked it so much that she asked it to do it over again for her employees. The first picture is some of the people who attended the second class for people who work for the City of Oakland. After the class, we went for a walk in the garden. That is Andy and Kelly under the silk floss tree in full bloom. Kelly works in administration, but she loves raising caterpillars, so she came to the class to learn more. The garden was full of butterflies, including Red Admirables, Cabbage Whites and Monarchs. I got pictures of a skipper, a lady and a checkered skipper. Tora gave Andy some Monarch eggs, so he is going to be rearing for awhile.



Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Holloween


Many many trick-or-treaters passed by last night. Some even stopped for candy. I got a picture of these siblings: Spiderman and a butterfly. I don't know why the butterfly costume had a laced bodice, but who cares? At least some kids were dressed up as arthropods. Although most of the wings seemed to be on fairies. Maybe fairies are part insect. Afterall, those wings look more like dragonfly wings than bird wings or bat wings. I'll have to do some research. Another conundrum!