Sunday, December 26, 2021

Merry Christmas

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year." Charles Dickens.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

Empty Chrysalis


I found this empty butterfly chrysalis on a bush in my yard this week. Click to enlarge.

It has ridges where the butterfly's abdominal segments developed. The little black stem on top is called a cremaster and attaches the chrysalis to a little pad of silk that the caterpillar spins and from which the whole thing hangs. It's impressively strong; it's been through a lot of wind and rain lately and it's still stuck tight.

There were a lot of monarchs on the orange milkweed plants in the yard this year. The chrysalis was only a few feet from where I took this caterpillar's picture. Could be his!

It makes me wonder if the butterfly made it safely south, if it's hanging upside down right now, warm among a thousand others, drowsing is an orange cloud and waiting for spring.

The moral of the story: Plant Milkweed.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Cute Mammal Alert

A raccoon peering down from the branches. Click to enlarge.

This squirrel looks ready to interact -- especially if peanuts are involved -- or to carry on if not. Today I am a just looking at some photos of my cute backyard mammals.

The rabbits are always alert and ready to run if I get too close. Actually all the animals are looking at me. I bet a lot more than the ones I see are watching me.

Here's a nice opossum. Not one that lives in my yard. You don't usually see them in bright daylight like this. This one is an orphan that works as a wildlife ambassador at a nearby refuge -- but the ones around here look exactly like it.  Note that she is also checking me out.

And this -- oh, wait. Nevermind. Ignore this one. The rest are frequent visitors to my suburban back yard.

Sunday, December 5, 2021

Autumn Review

Just leafing through some old fall pictures today.

The soft blur of autumn leaves in the background brings out the street pigeon's eyes.

Click to enlarge.

The squirrel is taking some dry leaves home.
How inviting is this? 
A hawk blends in.
A mockingbird in a persimmon tree.

"How beautifully the leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days." -- John Burroughs.