Saturday, December 6, 2014

I spy in the yard

That's pretty good camo, but I see you.

Do you really think you're hiding, little Rough Earth Snake?
Gulf Fritillary blends in.

Green anole plays keep away.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

West Texas butterflies in November

Tramping through the trails on an acreage where my grandparents had a farm between Midland, Big Spring and Lamesa, I was surprised to find some November butterflies.

A pretty Checkered White. My grandmother probably didn't like them because they are often considered garden pests.

The Checkered White only lives about a week.
I saw several Dainty Sulphur butterflies, which are only about an inch tall.
A Dainty Sulphur in its greenish winter form.
This battered Sulphur looked like leaf litter.
A tiny Western Pygmy Blue caught my eye.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Shopping carts and pelicans

White pelican and a shopping cart
While walking Baytown's nicely paved Goose Creek Trail near Goose Creek Park behind the library, I wasn't expecting to see shopping carts in the water.

Along the water's edge at the trail's end near Busch Terrace Park, there is a lot of litter. In addition to the usual water bottles, fast-food containers and tires, there are eight to 10 shopping carts. 

But the pelicans didn't seem to mind. They were using them as perches.

Shopping carts in Goose Creek. The building in the background in an old hospital. A developer said he is going to convert the building into an assisted living complex with a public restaurant on the top floor. But no work has been done on the property for years.

An unlittered view: The Goose Creek Trail gives you a different look at Baytown.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Grandmother's love of animals and photos

My maternal grandmother, Hattie, and I may have had some things in common.

The West Texas girl reportedly liked animals of all kinds.

Here she is holding an owl.
Grandmother Hattie (1901-1985) with a fawn.
She liked to take pictures also. The family albums are filled with snapshots thanks to Grandmother carrying her little box camera everywhere.

Her Conley Kewpie No. 2A camera now sits on one of my shelves.

The handle has been replaced a few times on my grandmother's favorite camera. This model was produced 1917-1922.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Monarchs enjoy the BNC butterfly garden

Buddies Jan and David H. released some tagged Monarchs and at least one of them found a friend.
After a tussle on the ground these two flew away together.
This beat-up faded Monarch found a bit of milkweed. I wonder where it began its journey.
Another milkweed stopover

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The close of October 2014

Scenes from the last week of October.

The Sea Purslane is blooming along the wetlands trails.  The tiny flowers are extra cute if you bend down to get a closer look.

Sesuvium portulacastrum

Also, the Gulf Fritillaries continue adding their impressive colors to the scenery.

The Gulf fritillary likes lantana.
Gulf fritillary
I love snapping pics of these orange ones.

The natural beauties pause so you can get a nice shot. And the patterns on both sides of their wings are completely different so it makes the butterflies really pop in the landscape.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Clouded Skippers like our St. Augustine

The three white dots are identifiers.

If you see a little brown butterfly flying low to the ground in your yard, it is most likely a Clouded Skipper.

The one-inch butterfly is the most abundant blackish-brown skipper in the Houston area, according to the Tvetens' Butterflies of Houston & Southeast Texas.

The little skipper likes to lay its eggs on St. Augustine grass, which makes is a year-round resident in our area.  It is most active February through November.