Monthly Archives: April 2012

The Grand Surprise

The mourning cloak is often the first butterfly to show up in the spring.  It is one of the latest butterflies to be seen in the late autumn as well.  In fact, this butterfly has the longest adult life span of … Continue reading

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Misplaced Priorities

Thursday was my birthday so I took the day off and headed for one of my favorite places, The Ledges State Park near Boone, Iowa. The Ledges is one of Iowa’s oldest state parks, and one of the nicest.  It … Continue reading

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A Jumping Spider

I took a day off from work today and went to The Ledges State Park.  I had a lovely day and saw lots of wildlife.  Maybe my favorite was this small jumping spider. Small but charismatic.

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Even More Butterflies

If you have been following my comments, you might think that red admirals are the only butterflies around.  That could not be farther from the truth.  There have been greater than normal numbers of several species of butterfly.  You do … Continue reading

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Irrupting All Over the Place

I learned a new word the other day.  Irruption.  That is a natural event when conditions are favorable for a particular species, and that species responds to those conditions by dramatically increasing the size of its population. We are having … Continue reading

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Lilacs in Bloom

There is a park in Des Moines which has a number of lilac bushes–in fact it has a number of different varieties of this flowering bush. I ran across this photo on my computer today.  I actually took it a … Continue reading

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A Moth with Really Quick Reflexes

We have had quite a number of lepidoptera out recently.  We have quite an outbreak of red admirals, but others are quite common as well.  A day flying moth, which I think is the celery looper, Anagrapha falcifera, is also … Continue reading

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Noncharismatic Megafauna

The term “Charismatic megafauna” refers to large wildlife that everyone wants to conserve.  Polar bears, moose, bison–all are charismatic megafauna. I ran across some of the less charismatic and less mega fauna on our place today. Here is a small … Continue reading

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Peony Buds

Our peonies are getting close to blooming.  Peonies at this stage secrete some kind of nectar or sap that is very attractive to insects.  Often you will see the buds covered with ants. They are also quite attractive to flies.  … Continue reading

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When a Moth Looks Like a Bee

Yesterday in the very warm weather after the morning rain I saw one of my favorite day-flying moths.  This bumblebee mimic is a snowberry clearwing, Hemaris diffinis.  Because of the high winds it kept to the low-growing dandelions.    

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