Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui)

Brush-footed Butterfliy (Nymphalidae)


A very common butterfly.  This one is sipping nectar from a butterfly bush flower. The Painted Lady can be seen visiting gardens and meadows around the world.

I think this is a Silvery Checkerspot (Chlosyne nycteis).  Resting on a Purple Cone Flower leaf.

Bronze Copper (Lycaena hyllus)

This butterfly is a member of the Gossamer-wing Family (Lycaenidae), it belongs to the Subfamily of Coppers(Lycaeninea) Butterflies.  Both sexes underside forewing is orange with black spots; underside hindwing is gray-white with black spots and a broad orange outer margin.  The upperside of male iridescent copper-brown;  female forewing yellow-orange with black spots.

Males watch for females perched on low groth near host plants.  Eggs are laid singly on plants.  Eggs hibernate until spring. Eggs are laid on herbs of the buckwheat family including curly dock  (Rumex crispus)  

The Horse Fly (Tabanus abdominalis)

Only female Horse Flies are blood suckers.  The male Horse Fly do not bite. The male can be identified by the structure of the eyes. The two compound eyes of the male Horse Fly has no space between them while the the eyes of the female have a separation.  This is a female Horse Fly.

This Horse Fly is looking for lunch on Ranger.

Great-Blue Heron, Dead or Alive

While on a forced march with Ranger Danger at Three Rivers County Park, we encountered this Great-Blue Heron laying on its back in the tall grass on the edge of the lake. Ranger got birdie and alerted me to the herons presence, I was able to shorten his lead before he ever saw the bird.

Herons are a shy and solitary bird, they will squawk and take to the air before you realize they are there. To be sure, I was surprised to able to get so close to a live heron and puzzled because I've never seen a dead one.  Had to take at least one pic.

During the setup, I could not see any obvious injuries.  Maybe an illness has it down, Bird Flu or West Nile Virus?  I should get the pic and let nature take its course.  I focus on the birds yellow eye, hmmm, the eye is clear and the pupil is focusing ever so slightly.  It just took a breath, shallow and slow but constant.

This bird is not dead, dieing maybe but not dead. Got this shot and left the bird in peace.  Not trying to experience the bird flu or west nile.  After working on this image and thinking about animal behavior, I am willing to believe that this bird made a fool of this predator.  Yes, the oldest survival trick in the book of life, "Play Dead".