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Posts tagged “great spangled fritillary

Munching Monarchs

caterpillar-1

Monarch caterpillars on milkweed leaves.

Caterpillars, that is. I visited Fern Hollow Nature Center in Sewickley Heights to work on a painting of the scenery, and in my first trip around the upper trails spotted a monarch caterpillar on a partially-chewed milkweed leaf. I had actually never seen one, though I’ve read all about their habits and appetite for only the best milkweed leaves.

caterpillar-2

I’d never seen them up close before!

Each time I passed the caterpillar, I photographed it with a different lens, also marking its progress along the edge of the leaf it was chewing. It had apparently found a tender spot in the leaf and was methodically chewing along the edge in an arc, back and forth, as far as its head could stretch without moving the rest of its body.

caterpillar-3

Hello!

Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed for all stages of life. Females lay one egg at a time on the underside of a large leathery leaf near the top of the plant. As the caterpillars mature the eat their own shells, then start in on the leaf they were born on; as they grow they shed their skin, and often eat that as well. They’ll move around the plant chewing on leaves through four sheddings or “instars”, and after the fifth shedding they’ll attach themselves upside down under a leave and build their chrysalis. This becomes transparent over a period of two weeks when the adult emerges. This one is probably in its last stage before the big change.

caterpillar-4

Making a nice, neat edge.

For more information on monarch butterflies and butterflies in general, visit Butterflies and Moths of North America at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/.

Earlier this summer I photographed a Great Spangled Fritillary on milkweed from along the Panhandle Trail near Oakdale, and i I’ve got several more photos of butterflies, mostly from my back yard as the visit the native plants.

. . . . . . .

For a print of any photo, visit “purchasing” for availability and terms. For photos of lots of black cats and other cats—and even some birds as I first published this post there—visit The Creative Cat.


Munching Monarchs, 2009

caterpillar-1

Monarch caterpillars on milkweed leaves.

Caterpillars, that is. I visited Fern Hollow Nature Center in Sewickley Heights to work on a painting of the scenery, and in my first trip around the upper trails spotted a monarch caterpillar on a partially-chewed milkweed leaf. I had actually never seen one, though I’ve read all about their habits and appetite for only the best milkweed leaves.

caterpillar-2

I’d never seen them up close before!

Each time I passed the caterpillar, I photographed it with a different lens, also marking its progress along the edge of the leaf it was chewing. It had apparently found a tender spot in the leaf and was methodically chewing along the edge in an arc, back and forth, as far as its head could stretch without moving the rest of its body.

caterpillar-3

Hello!

Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed for all stages of life. Females lay one egg at a time on the underside of a large leathery leaf near the top of the plant. As the caterpillars mature the eat their own shells, then start in on the leaf they were born on; as they grow they shed their skin, and often eat that as well. They’ll move around the plant chewing on leaves through four sheddings or “instars”, and after the fifth shedding they’ll attach themselves upside down under a leave and build their chrysalis. This becomes transparent over a period of two weeks when the adult emerges. This one is probably in its last stage before the big change.

caterpillar-4

Making a nice, neat edge.

For more information on monarch butterflies and butterflies in general, visit Butterflies and Moths of North America at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/.

Earlier this summer I photographed a Great Spangled Fritillary on milkweed from along the Panhandle Trail near Oakdale, and in my online photo gallery I’ve got several more photos of butterflies, mostly from my back yard as the visit the native plants.


Great Spangled Fritillaries!

Great Spangled Fritillary on Milkweed
Great Spangled Fritillary on Milkweed

Great Spangled Fritillary on Milkweed.

What wildflowers are blooming in in the woods and fields lat spring through mid-summer? In my region, the greater Ohio Valley and a good bit of the northeastern US, we’ve transitioned from a lot of gentle greens with touches of white and yellow to brilliant yellows, oranges and pinks.

I’m documenting walks along local trails to capture the flora you’d see along the trails as you walked. I’m familiar enough with the trails near me to know what blooms when, since it’s been one of my projects for years, even before my digital camera. I’ve got loads of shots on film, but they aren’t in sequence as these are, though I’m catching up in scanning those.

I’ve created several slideshows of local woodland wildflowers which you can find on my regular website, which is where things went before WordPress came up with this wonderful software for blogging. If you hold your mouse over the image you’ll see the common common flower name at the top of each image.

This project is intended to one day become an online and perhaps print reference for the wildflowers of the Lower Chartiers Watershed, so I’ll be keeping them organized by trail. Wildflowers are amazingly predictable, and anyone else would be able to walk the trail around the same time I did in another year and see these wildflowers in about this sequence. So far I’ve visited the Panhandle Trail area, but I’ll also be visiting Kane’s Woods in Scott Township, Wingfield Pines in Upper St. Clair, to name a few.

These images are provided for familiarity rather than strict scientific identification; I am not a scientist, and my goal is first to take good photographs, then to give people a general appreciation of the beauty of their local wildflowers. The names are accurate, but I’ll keep to the most common name to make it easier for you to find these in guidebooks and pursue more information. Just enjoy looking at them.

You can see more flora, fauna and much else on my website under Photography.


Munching Monarchs

caterpillar-1

Caterpillars, that is. I visited Fern Hollow Nature Center in Sewickley Heights to work on a painting of the scenery, and in my first trip around the upper trails spotted a monarch caterpillar on a partially-chewed milkweed leaf. I had actually never seen one, though I’ve read all about their habits and appetite for only the best milkweed leaves.

caterpillar-2

Each time I passed the caterpillar, I photographed it with a different lens, also marking its progress along the edge of the leaf it was chewing. It had apparently found a tender spot in the leaf and was methodically chewing along the edge in an arc, back and forth, as far as its head could stretch without moving the rest of its body.

caterpillar-3

Monarch butterflies rely on milkweed for all stages of life. Females lay one egg at a time on the underside of a large leathery leaf near the top of the plant. As the caterpillars mature the eat their own shells, then start in on the leaf they were born on; as they grow they shed their skin, and often eat that as well. They’ll move around the plant chewing on leaves through four sheddings or “instars”, and after the fifth shedding they’ll attach themselves upside down under a leave and build their chrysalis. This becomes transparent over a period of two weeks when the adult emerges. This one is probably in its last stage before the big change.

caterpillar-4

For more information on monarch butterflies and butterflies in general, visit Butterflies and Moths of North America at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/.

Earlier this summer I photographed a Great Spangled Fritillary on milkweed from along the Panhandle Trail near Oakdale, and in my online photo gallery I’ve got several more photos of butterflies, mostly from my back yard as the visit the native plants.


Great Spangled Fritillaries!

Great Spangled Fritillary on Milkweed

Great Spangled Fritillary on Milkweed

June Wildflowers Along the Panhandle Trail

Where May was nearly all green and white with touches of yellow or burgundy, June welcomes the brilliant white, yellow, pink and blue as the flowers compete for attention from their pollinators.

As I did in May with the Panhandle Nature Walk, I photographed the wildflowers I encountered in sequence along the Panhandle Trail. I peddled out to McDonald, spotting the best areas to photograph, and rolled my bicycle back from McDonald to Walker’s Mill, photographing all the way. These shots are the best, when the sun was shining and the wind was fairly still. I’ll be featuring a highlight every day for the next few days—another butterfly, stunning individual flowers, collections and berries.

Also visit my Today gallery on my website to see other featured images and find links to other galleries. These images and more are available as prints and notecards.