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A Few for Monday

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Just a few more butterflies today. One of the many Long-tailed Skippers on the lantana bush.

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A Gulf Fritillary–another butterfly that seems to always be around lately.

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And here’s a Great Purple Hairstreak–I saw one for the first time a couple of days ago, and this one turned up today. My goal was to get a photo capturing the iridescent blue of the upper side of the wings, which would be the inner side of the wings in this photo. However, this butterfly kept those wings practically glued together and I couldn’t get a look.

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Here you can see some of the blue on the butterfly’s body and on the wings. If I see this butterfly again, I’ll give it another try.

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More Butterflies

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A few more butterflies today. I’m enjoying having the big lantana bush in the backyard this year–there always seem to be butterflies out there. This Tiger Swallowtail hung around for quite awhile.

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Another shot of the big bright Tiger Swallowtail.

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I didn’t recognize this one and had to look it up. It’s a Painted Lady.

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The orange and black wings with the white spots are very pretty, but I especially like the undersides of the wings–they remind me of lace.

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Long-tailed Skipper, a very common butterfly around here just now. There are often several of them on the lantana bush. This one seems to have lost the long tails on its wings that give it its name. The ends of the tails often wear down on these butterflies.

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Another Long-tailed Skipper, this one with the long tails.

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Lantana flowers result in berries on the plant. A mockingbird was picking some the other day.

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Butterfly on Friday

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A butterfly for today, one I’ve never seen before. It’s a Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly, with a wingspan of about 2 inches.

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This butterfly keeps its wings up like this when it pauses on flowers, with only the undersides in sight. The upper sides of the wings are supposed to be a beautiful iridescent blue, but unfortunately I never got even a glimpse of them! There is some blue showing on the butterfly’s body.

 

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It moves its wings up and down against each other as it perches on a flower. You can see that the positions of the tails on the wings vary from photo to photo as the butterfly moves its wings. I tried to take photos from other angles, but this butterfly kept turning so that the same side was always facing the camera.

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A closer look at the Great Purple Hairstreak in the lantana flowers.

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A Few for Tuesday

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Hurricane Irma is gone and today things are getting back to normal. Stores in our area reopened today, so I picked up groceries to replace some food and milk we lost in the refrigerator when the power was out. Max and I did a little work in the backyard picking up the small branches that had fallen. Max has been considering them toys that dropped from the trees, so he wasn’t much help in cleaning up.

Anoles were everywhere–on the fences, in the basil pots, in the grass. This pretty little female was sitting on a basil pot.

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Butterflies were back too, busy in the flowers again. This one is a Long-tailed Skipper.

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Another bluebird was on the wire out front, looking for insects here.

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One more of the little bluebird.

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Back on Friday

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I’ve been busy for the past couple of days with dental surgery and preparations for Hurricane Irma–not a great combination! But things are going better now. We’re expecting Irma to pass us here in northeast Florida late Sunday night/early Monday morning. We are not in an evacuation zone so we’re staying home. We usually lose power during these storms–sometimes for hours, sometimes for days–but otherwise come through all right, so I hope we’ll be lucky this time too.

Here are a few pre-hurricane photos from today. First, a Gulf Fritillary butterfly in the lavender flowers. There were about a dozen of these butterflies in the yard this morning, all gone by afternoon. Maybe they were migrating away from the coming storm.

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Max looking up into the palm tree he’s been working on. He loves to pull on the loose frond bases. Eventually we’ll get some tree people to come and clean it up.

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Max and his palm tree.

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Cicada shell on the palm tree.

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Baby anole on the fence. The anoles in general seem to come through these storms pretty well–I usually see them reappearing on the fences soon after it clears up. This is a tiny anole though, so I hope it’s a lucky little one!

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Another anole on a basil pot. Nice red/orange coloring on this one.

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Giant Swallowtails on Tuesday

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Two Giant Swallowtails were flying together around the lantana bush today. As their name suggests, these are large butterflies with a wingspan of 4-6 inches. One of the butterflies seemed to be following the other one where ever it went around the bush.

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They twirled around each other as they flew.

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This butterfly seemed to get a moment to itself as it paused on a flower.

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But the other butterfly quickly caught up with it.

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I think they may have been a male and female mating pair, but I didn’t observe them mating. Male and female Giant Swallowtails look very similar–I couldn’t tell these two apart. I enjoyed watching them flying together.

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One more of the Giant Swallowtails.

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A Few for Friday

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Bumblebee in the lavender flowers.

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Long-tailed Skipper butterfly in the lantana bush, upside down on some flowers.

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This particular Long-tailed Skipper looks worn, and is missing the two long tails on its wings that give it its name. In this photo you can see its feathery-looking blue-green back.

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Little brown anole on a basil pot.

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A Buckeye butterfly. I love the colors on this butterfly,

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