No Birds!

by Dan Weisz

Web presentation by Douglas Everett @ Hummingbird Market

Well, I couldn’t resist- there is this one bird.  This is the male Western Screech Owl who was part of the family I watched this spring.  During the summer, he sporadically visits his old roost under the porch of my neighbor’s house.  So usually he’s not there (and it fits the “no birds” theme).  I did get this shot of him last month and have been waiting to share it.  This is his standing-tall-to-hide-against-the-mesquite-bark pose.

At Agua Caliente Park, the caterpillar of the Milkweed Tussock Moth looks great.  This caterpillar, like Monarchs, munch on milkweed and are then toxic for predators.  The orange and black colors help alert predators to this.

After the summer monsoons, yards across the foothills were filled suddenly with Orb Weaver Spiders.  This one’s web was in the shade on my front porch and it has caught something for breakfast.

And as soon as I went to the back porch to water the plants, I saw several Orb Weaver Spiders there too.  This one was in the full sun, and the sunlight coming through its body gave a red glow to the spider that the one on the front porch did not have.  Compare it to the one above!

The caterpillar of the Rustic Sphinx Moth enjoying the Mexican Honeysuckle leaves on my front porch.  This fellow doesn’t seem to have missed many meals. It is the size of a very large finger.

Here is another one.

There were dozens of Gulf Fritillary butterflies in a friend’s yard this week.  This is a type of “longwing” butterfly, with wings that are longer and more narrow in comparison to other butterflies.  It’s name comes from its long migration over the Gulf of Mexico.

You don’t think of butterflies together with cacti, but here you are!  Now look at the color and patterns of the underwing and compare it to the upper wing colors in the photo below this one.

Look at its bright orange wings. If you have passion vine plants, you will likely have Gulf Fritillary butterflies.

Despite its very worn wings, this Fiery Skipper is still beautiful thanks to its pretty eyes and coiled proboscis, or tongue.

A sunflower from along San Diego Bay last week.

And our neighbor’s western screech owl has gone into hiding.  I haven’t seen him for a few weeks now.  I think he was sending me a message in this shot.