Monday, December 19, 2011

In the Spirit of the Butterflies

Here is a picture I took while playing around with a macro lens Ken bought me years ago and I forgot I had....

Yet Another Caterpillar

Today, we found what I believe to be two Queen Butterfly caterpillars on our milkweed. It looks very similar to the Monarch caterpillar, only it has three....tentacles...antennae...horns...whatever they're called. We put them in the butterfly box and hope to get to see them emerge into beautiful butterflies!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Butterfly Mania

Ken and I built a box to house the monarch caterpillars we've been finding all over the yard. We have learned so much just by watching these wonderful creatures.

We used plywood and screening to make
the walls and added hinges at the top, then we
added a potted milkweed plant.

Here are some random pictures I've taken so far.

This is what the cocoon looks like just before
the butterfly emerges.


These three hatched within minutes of each other.




Friday, September 2, 2011

The Pier Aquarium

We went to the St. Petersburg Pier Aquarium today. It's a tiny aquarium, but has some interesting creatures in it. Here's a beautiful seahorse that was hiding in the background. It blended into the background so well, it was very hard to see.

  

These are called "mermaid purses" and contain baby sharks. I've seen them on TV, but never in person. We could see the tiny tails moving around (the black circles you see are the sharks' bodies).



Some people will be lucky enough to get to see rays in the water, but few will get to see the "secret smiley face" hidden underneath its body, unless you see one in a tank as we did. I couldn't get a picture of them, but you should see the teeth he's got!



I realize that pelicans aren't exactly something that go along with my theme of showing you things you wouldn't ordinarily see in the real world, but this one was hiding behind a pole, looking like it didn't want to be seen....besides, I really liked the picture so I wanted to share it!



Monday, August 15, 2011

The life of a butterfly, part II

The last time I posted about butterflies, I didn't have any pictures of the cocoons. I know how so very disappointed some people must have felt about this. ;) Ken was able to find two cocoons since then:

This is the cocoon from the "passion" butterfly. Unfortunately, I didn't get my lazy self out there fast enough to get the picture WHILE the caterpillar was in there, so this is a picture of the empty shell it left behind.

This is the monarch butterfly's cocoon. Isn't it beautiful? I swear the yellow markings on it sparkle like they've been sprinkled with fairy dust.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The life of a butterfly

We are lucky enough to have some beautiful butterflies in the yard which have "allowed" us to photograph them. One monarch even let us watch her lay her eggs on our milkweed plant. Here are some pictures that were taken of a few different kinds of butterflies we have and the stages of their lives (minus the cocoons because we can't seem to find any!).

Monarch butterfly:
This is one of the eggs on a milkweed plant.






Part 2: the caterpillar



This is the mamma butterfly.



Gulf fritillary (passion flower butterfly):
Egg




Caterpillar



Ken took this one...maybe this pic should have come first! ;-)
 We're not sure what kind of butterfly this is. It only stayed in our yard for a few minutes.







Saturday, July 9, 2011

The beauty of nature

All of the food we grow either starts or ends as a flower. Some are beautiful, some are plain, but they're all amazing in their own way.

Bananas

Dill

Onions

Cilantro

Lettuce

Broccoli

String beans

Cherry tomatoes

Potatoes

Cucumber (notice the baby cucumber to the left)