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Saturday Photos

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I happened to walk out into the backyard today at a rare moment: there weren’t any butterflies in the lantana bush. However, there was a wasp.

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And there was a fly.

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Mockingbird on the fence across the yard–it flew away before I could get closer.

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And Max in the grass, thinking I couldn’t see him.

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A Few for Wednesday

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Busy day today with just a few photos.

Gulf Fritillary butterfly on the lantana bush.

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Same butterfly a moment later, with its wings raised and the underside showing. I like the white spots on the underside of the wings.

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One more of the Gulf Fritillary.

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A baby anole on the fence. This was a very tiny anole and I was surprised it had climbed all the way to the top of the gate. The very young babies usually stay down near the ground.

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It looks like it was doing a push-up here, part of the anole territorial display. But since this baby was less than an inch long from nose to the beginning of its tail, I doubt any other anoles felt threatened. This photo shows the baby anole close to life size–just a little bit bigger than it actually was.

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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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Anoles and More on Wednesday

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It was bright and sunny today, two days after the hurricane went through. Everything’s pretty much back to normal here. There were lots of anoles around today enjoying the sunshine.

These two were on the back screen door. The big male on the right was pursuing the female on the left, following her around on the screen. She wasn’t impressed and after awhile she ran away.

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A baby anole sitting on a concrete block.

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I often lean sticks or branches against the fence for the anoles to climb and sit on. This young anole was perched at the top of this branch, watching what was going on below.

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Anole climbing through the cedar vine on the fence. She seems to be a female, and something seems to be bothering her–it’s hard to tell for sure through the vines, but she may have her dewlap extended.

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One more anole for today. This one was posing on a palm tree late this afternoon.

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Lantana flowers.

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Rosemary branch.

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It’s been a long time since I’ve done sun stars!

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A fiery sunset this evening.

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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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