Saturday, October 26, 2013


A week or so ago, a wasp was intent on getting some of my yoghurt. I threw it out, but it came right back. I guess it really needed some protein. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Assassin Bug?

Before the butterfly walk on Tuesday, while everyone was looking at live specimens, I noticed a bug in a woman's hair. I got her to stand still while I got this great pic, although she was worried. I didn't say,"I think it is an assassin bug" until after I got it out of her hair. I wonder if she would have been happier with a caterpillar.......?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


Yesterday was the last butterfly walk of the season. First, I showed everyone live specimens: gulf fritillaries, anise swallowtails and Pipevine swallowtails. I especially like showing the eggs. So small!

We saw the Buckeye on buckwheat. The butterfly is named for the circular patterns on its wings that look like eyes. "Buckwheat" was originally called "beechwheat" because buckwheat seeds look like tiny beech seeds. So the words have entirely different etymologies even though they seem much alike.

We also saw plenty of skippers, a few cabbage whites, and a lady. It was a lovely end to a lovely season.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Gulf Fritillaries

These two butterflies were having a great time in my front yard a couple of days ago. It is hard to tell from my pic, but they were courting. The female was sitting on the ground, and the male was hovering near her. I didn't stick around to watch, but usually they mate after the male has convinced his beloved of his excellent muscle strength. Sometimes that takes awhile. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Disanthus cercidifolium

Plants are so easy to get pictures of. They just sit there and let you have your way with them. Just look at the glorious color in this plant. It just took a few seconds. Meanwhile, I missed getting a picture of the checkered skipper and the common buckeye butterflies that I saw in the same area in the same day. Shoot!

At the UC Botanical Garden. Yesterday.

There really isn't much to say about this plant. Just, spectacular fall color. Which is obvious from the photo.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Arts Magnet Butterfly Presentation

Andy and I went to another school today to do a butterfly presentation. Third grade. Their curriculum includes energy, so I talked about how the energy comes from the sun to the plant, and then the caterpillar eats the plant, and then a bird eats a caterpillar, and so on. They are raising Gulf Fritiallaries in the classroom, my favorite classroom pet.  Andy did a great job making sure that all the kids saw the live specimens. There is is below with the kids and the jars.