Not a good day birding. I went out this morning in the gray and the gloom, knowing the light wasn’t very good for bird photography, but I thought I’d try anyway. Not only didn’t I get any photos, the birding itself was rather slow. Upon arriving back home I thought I’d change focus. I hadn’t gotten my macro lens out in a while, so decided to go on a “backyard safari”, looking for little critters that inhabit the yard.
The nice thing about a backyard safari is that they never disappoint! Well, in SUMMER they never disappoint, because you always find plenty of insects and other small critters in the yard. There were a couple of highlights today. First were the White-lined Sphinx Moths that were gorging on nectar from a big honeysuckle. Not a rare species, but given their size, you always do a double-take when you first see them. They were moving pretty quickly from flower to flower, making photography a challenge, but with time (and a lot of deleted photos), I managed a few decent photos.
The second highlight were a couple of surprises on the butterfly weed I had planted. I wasn’t ever clear if the variety I bought was truly a form of milkweed. Sure, butterflies loved the blooms, but would Monarch Butterflies treat it as they do all the wild, Common Milkweed that’s around here? Would they lay eggs? That was answered today, when I found two caterpillars, one quite large, and one small. I don’t have a really large area of butterfly weed, but seeing those Monarch caterpillars today makes me want to plant some more.
A nice time, just a stone’s throw (quite literally!) from the house. Backyard safari saves the day…