Glorious October, so thankful for you!

How wonderful to be outside without pesky mosquitoes, horrid humidity, and Texas heat! Nature's show beats anything at halftime. Top to bottom: Painted Lady on lantana on my doorstep. cloudless sulphur butterfly, goldenrod, roseate skimmer dragonfly at Oak Point today, and at Heard Museum wetlands yesterday.

© 2014-2017 Nancy L. Ruder


Never-Never Land

Spiders at the dam today were not of the normal long-jawed type.  The tough new bosses may have devoured the long-jaws. You do not want to mess with them.  HOOK

10 a.m. at the dam -- brunch?
After lunch in old downtown Plano, and assorted errands, I stopped by the Plano Environmental Education Center. The EEC is a primo spot for butterfly watching this time of year.

Spotting my first ever long-tailed skipper was exciting. Its head was iridescent green, aiding identification. PETER

Next I spotted, or checkered, an old acquaintance. Several years ago our Montessori students found caterpillars in the school garden and collected them in a bug box. The caterpillars each formed a chrysalis that was similar in size but differed in color or pattern. In our most successful class butterfly emergence ever, we soon had a net full of black, orange, yellow, and white-patterned butterflies for a very happy playground release. I remember my befuddlement trying to sort out the patterns, checkers, and spots to match photos in field guides.  WENDY

"The Bordered Patch has been called our most variable butterfly, as well as the most widespread and abundant checkerspot in the Americas. The enormous range of variation in the appearance of early stages and adults makes this species a good subject for genetic research. This is enhanced by its large broods of up to 500 eggs per female and brief generation time of as little as 30 days."--National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Butterflies

Completing this splendid afternoon, I spied with my little eye a pink moth in the Gregg's mistflower foliage (upper left). My previous sightings of Pyrausta inornatalis have been at the Texas Discovery Gardens and at the Moody Oasis of the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden of the Dallas Arboretum. TINKERBELL

© 2014-2017 Nancy L. Ruder