Tuesday, September 2, 2014

A Few Yard Amphibians and Insects

I still haven't had a chance to explore any of the parks near our new home, but I also haven't really felt the need to, because there are already so many things to see right here. We're getting used to seeing adorable little American Toads hopping out from underfoot whenever we walk through the yard:

And I was super happy the other day when one tiny fleeing amphibian turned out to be a Spring Peeper:

Hello wonderful creature! Sorry about the flash for this next picture, but I needed to admire the lovely pattern on your back:

The insect life around here is wonderfully varied, with lots of cool creatures to meet. I already shared pictures of the big Northern Walkingstick and Luna Moth that showed up in past weeks, and the big bugs keep coming! This large ornate dragonfly (possibly a Shadow Darner, Aeshna umbrosa, or another darner species) was hanging out at the end of a recent day (yes, we have blueberries in our yard):

This dragonfly was either injured or just really tired, because it let me pick it up for a closer look (and to admire its size) before it flew away:

Smaller brilliant red dragonflies (a meadowhawk species, I think) cruise around our house, staking out posts mostly at the tops of flower stalks:

Although my car's antenna apparently serves this purpose just as well:

Cicadas frequently call from the trees, and we spotted this one handing out under a wooden sign:

A stand of milkweed near the road is currently feeding a horde of Milkweed Tussock Caterpillars, fuzzy little things that will eventually grow into moths:

A Painted Lady butterfly let me take its picture the other day as it visited the flowers around the house. These wings are so bright and pretty on top:

But I absolutely love the intricate patterns on their undersides:

I'm definitely learning to bring my camera along whenever I'm outside, because you never know what might show up next!

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