Category Archives: Humor

Egg Laying… Not just for the Birds!

"Do you have time for bon bons?" Asked Mother Robin of the Butterfly.

Monarch Butterfly Egg

Giant Sulphur Butterfly Egg

In nature, when it comes to motherhood and eggs, the female butterfly soars with the best of them. Although, she may not have to sit on her wee ones for 12-14 hours a day, as the Robin does, she will devote almost her entire existence to being an expert egg layer.

Butterfly eggs come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors. Depending on the species of butterfly, the eggs could be rounded or pointy, they could be brown, white, pink, blue or green, they could be laid singularly, in twos or in groups of a hundred at a time. All these factors and many more come into play as the female butterfly chooses where and when to deposit her tiny specs of life.

Gulf Fritillary Butterfly Egg

Question Mark Butterfly Eggs

Green eggs go on green leaves, as camouflage is important to defend from predators. Pointy eggs may be laid in groups, because there is safety in numbers. The correct, safe and healthy, host plant must be found and on it the perfect leaf must be present or my babies may not survive. So much for eating bon bons or fluttering about without a care in the world!

In a brief and dangerous season of life, female butterflies have to work skillfully and quickly to ensure the survival of their species. Like many of the other mommies found in the natural world, their efforts are to be valued and are not just for the birds!

To learn more about Female Butterflies and their Eggs visit the OWB Dimension pages 

Others labor from sun to sun but a Mother's work in never done! ~ Unknown

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A Drive-Thru Nature…

Burger, Fries & Some Nature Please…

Fast Food Joint

Hold The Mayo, Extra Butterflies!


Tiger Swallowtail on Plumbago

You don’t have to go far to experience the wonders of Nature, because, whether you notice them or not, they surround you everyday! I was reminded of this recently as I frequented one of my favorite fast food joints.

While sitting in the drive-thru, dreaming of french fries, I noticed a delicate tiger swallowtail sailing by. She glided carefreely past me and landed somewhere within a large patch of Plumbago.

Plumbago Blossoms

As I watched the swallowtail disappear into the foliage, the sweet n’salty fantasy of fries drifted from my mind and I began to think about where the butterfly had flown off to. What other creatures might be found hidden amongst the sapphire hues of the Plumbago plant?

Male Marine Blue

I mused over how many times I had sat in this same line, driven past this delightful spot, which was teeming with butterflies and other winged creatures, and had not even noticed it. Did others, who idled here, waiting to order their burgers and such, ever see it, I wondered?

With curiosity driving me, I cruised the drive-thru, parked my car, ate lunch, grabbed my camera and proceed to climb down a small slope to a spot where I could further explore this newly discovered smorgasbord of Nature. I was not to be disappointed!

Lady Bug

Waves of Marine Blues swirled about on afternoon breezes mimicking ocean currents. Opalescent n’ indigo males moved with soft n’ fair females. A Violet Dancer cut in. Blue-gray blossoms of Plumbago complemented the performers charming display of ebb and flow.

Violet Dancer Damselfly

A youthful praying mantis played camouflage with me. He turned his mysterious gaze my way for just a moment then vanished back into the verdant jungle from which he came.

Fiery Skippers quenched their thirst with candied nectar from cool blooms. The blazing red lady bugs who appeared failed to alarm them. Itty bitty Marine Blue caterpillars munched away at sea-colored petals as if to pay tribute to their namesake and an alabaster butterfly floated in like a tide of innocence.

Female Marine Blue

What appetite could not have been satisfied here, in Nature, where such a feast of diverse beauty was being offered? Having my fill and feeling most content, I began to head back up the hill towards my car, when one more irresistible course was served.

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Out from the meandering Plumbago arose the lovely swallowtail that had first caught my eye. She gracefully circled, then set down briefly upon a branch to rest.  As she affably perched, revealing her magnificent wings, I could not help but think of how she was reflecting back to me the delicious banquet of creation I had just been blessed enough to enjoy.   KD <

Young Praying Mantis

Skipper Sipping Nectar

Marine Blue Caterpillar

White on Plumbago

Big Mac,

Filet-O-Fish,

Quarter Pounder,

French Fries,  Icy Coke,

Thick Shakes,  Sundays &

Apple Pies….

Hmmm.. think I will take “Nature” the healthy choice instead!

Click the fast food clipart to learn more about California’s Butterflies,

(including Marine Blues) and download informational PDFs for free.

Bon Appetite from OWB!



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Enter The Lepidoptera Zone….

You unlock this door with the key of imagination…

(be sure to click on all images for a full view)

Beyond it is another dimension… a dimension of color, a dimension of flight, a dimension of wings.

You’re moving into a land of both butterflies and moths, of scales and eyespots.

You’ve just crossed over into The Lepidoptera Zone…


 

>>>

 

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Come to a Caterpillar Convention… Caterpillar Phacelia (Phacelia circutaria)

The name Phacelia comes from the Greek word, phakelos, which means bundle.

Caterpillar Phacelia, Phacelia circutaria, is a plant species native to California, which looks exactly as it’s name suggests, like a bundle of caterpillars.

Look for this group of hairy, sun-loving annuals from March to June in the chaparral covered foothills of California.

Coming upon them is like attending a Caterpillar Convention, where each participant seems to enjoy flaunting it’s flora, exhibiting tiny buds as if they were fancy hats atop it’s head.

If you hung around long enough (for several weeks at least), you could watch as each coiled stem slowly unraveled itself, proudly showing off it’s pretty lavender flowers, one by one…

Click the cute but sassy fellow above (just returned from the convention I guess) to learn more about Caterpillar Phacelia (Phacelia cicutaria), one of the few “caterpillar” species in nature which does not become a butterfly! KD


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It’s not easy being Green!

It's not easy-being-green

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Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!

three snowflakes

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is the most adaptable to change. – Charles Darwin

Anise Swallowtail Chrysalis

Survival of the Chrysalis...This Anise Swallowtail chrysalis will just have to hang with the cool weather until the spring rays return.

Bronze Copper Butterfly Egg

Mom laid this Bronze Copper butterfly egg safely nestled in some dried leaves, close to where its host plant will come up in the spring.

butterfly snowflake 2

When reflecting on butterflies, visions of warm sunshiny days may fill one’s mind. It is not usual to think of a butterfly and to also invoke images of such things as snow, sleet or sub-zero temperatures. Many species of butterflies, however, have had to, over time, consider, adapt to and survive such wintry conditions.

It is true that some butterflies, such as the well known Monarch, spread their wings and flutter south to escape Old Man Winter, but various others are not so flighty. Take, for example, the Bronze Copper, it withstands the cool weather as a wee little egg. Curled-up leaves, buried deep beneath the snow, create the ideal escape and lodging for caterpillars such as Tawny Emperors, Fritillaries, Crecents and Checkerspots.

Mourning Cloak Butterfly

Mourning Cloak butterflies need to find shelter in a wood pile or under some bark to survive the first frost.

Swallowtails, Sulphurs and Whites, bear the hardships of winter by hiding out and undergoing metamorphosis as a chrysalis. Red-Spotted Purples and other Admirals build their very own shelter, called a hibernaculum. This is a miniature abode made just for hibernating as its name suggests. Mourning Cloaks, Commas and Question Marks, face the wintertide as adult butterflies. They look for a place to safely hibernate, seeking such refuges as wood piles or tree bark.

Which ever way they do it, hats, scarves and mittens off to the amazingly adaptable butterflies who endure Jack Frost’s torment. Come springtime, I think I can speak for all, in saying how grateful we are for your tenacious and triumphant perseverance!

butterfly snowflake 2

Twany Emperor Caterpillar

A Tawny Emperor caterpillar searches for a cozy curled leaf where it can safely hibernate under a blanket of snow.

A Red-Spotted Purple caterpillar emerges from its self-made winter shelter or hibernaculum.

A Red-Spotted Purple caterpillar emerges from its self-made winter shelter or hibernaculum.

three snowflakes

butterflies sunflower snow

Above are photographs of the butterflies featured pictorially in this blog, going clockwise… Red Spotted Purple (Limenitis arthemis), Mourning Cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), Tawny Emperor (Asterocampa clyton), Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus) & Anise Swallowtail (Papilio zelicaon) at center.

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow!


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Predator and Prey… The Spooky Side of Butterflies

In the Spirit of Halloween, macabre moments, creepy encounters & spooky sightings…

skipper

Little Miss Skipper sat on Verbena sipping nectar all day

Along came a Spider

Along came a Spider who built a web beside her

female & male Argiope sp. Spider w skipper

And stole Miss Skipper away...

Little Miss Muffet was a small girl whose name was Patience Muffet. Her stepfather, Dr. Muffet (1553-1604), was a famous entomologist who wrote the first scientific catalogue of British Insects. Whilst eating her breakfast of curds and whey, Little Miss Muffet was frighted by one of his spiders and ran away!

Guess She didn’t want to Skip her meal…

Muahahahahaha

>>>

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Mother Nature Goes Contemporary…

The Yellow and Winding Road

Mother Nature Goes Contemporary

Painted Lady on Hollyhock

(Vanessa cardui on Alcea rosea)

© Mother Nature, 2009

(Yellow Roads Abstract by Leaf Miner)

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