Category Archives: Pets and Pests

I equate good bugs and bad bugs to Pets and Pests

Madam Butterfly … sequel

This Black Swallowtail left her birth place but did not leave the scene ~ no, it’s not from Opera 101. It a real life happening. “Madam Butterfly” has been fluttering around since she morphed from caterpillar to pupa (in her cocoon) and then to a winged creature, but she must like the Dillweed in the backyard to hang around.

She has been coming back each morning for breakfast so today I decided to slip my idiot proof camera into a pocket (just in case)… and there she was… munching on her favorite green.

The Butterfly has Landed.

The Dillweed buds must taste good.

In this pic – facing her but slightly lower down, is her cocoon. See the beige-brown casing?

This is like a return to one’s birthplace for native food.  :mrgreen:

In case you’re curious as to how I know it’s a She and not a He, see my earlier post again  (pic where she is drying her wings) then see Wikipedia pics.


Butterflies Are Free

Many years ago, I saw a movie titled Butterflies Are Free starring Edward Albert and Goldie Hawn. I’ve never forgotten that title or the song in the movie.
“Open up my spirits wide and let them go
I will take tomorrow’s wings and fly
Nothing’s gonna keep me off that glory road
And when that wild wind blows I’m gonna ride…”

Each time I now see the formation of a beautiful butterfly ~ that song just comes to mind. I’ve grown patient. Yes, I will wait, observe each day, but patiently wait.

Right outside my back door, in permaculture zone 1, on my Dillweed …

Very young caterpillar I spotted at night (while out to cut some chives).

It enjoyed munching on my Dillweed and I enjoyed watching it grow.

A few days later.

Oh what Beauty!

Then, when it felt just right, with Mother Nature’s guidance (no parent needed), it just built its own privacy cocoon.

Look at the 2 support/suspension strands.

How did it know that 2 suspension strands were needed? At what angle was its hibernation abode supposed to be? Did it have a design blueprint for its temporary apartment? Continue reading

Woody Woodpecker Jr.

Ever seen a Woodpecker chick?

The Young One…

I can’t tell if it’s male or female (yet) but adult Woodpeckers in the area stand out with their red head feathers.

Early morning backyard activity ~ Woody jr. getting his breakfast while I walk around with my cuppa coffee in hand.

Just One Brief Lucky Moment

At the right place & at the right time ~ with an idiot-proof camera in hand…

I’ve managed to get some pics of Mister Painted Bunting on 1 of our bird feeders and I’ve seen the Mrs. around but …

I just knew that Mrs. Painted Bunting was somewhere, probably setting up nest, then suddenly when I was where I was and she was where she was ~  *click* ~ got her on my ‘candid camera’!

Mrs. P Bunting

My next hope and aim is to get some shots (photo shots) of Painted Bunting chicks. Wish me luck, OK?

Do Birds Kiss?

Life is a learning experience and today I learned that birds do kiss.
I actually saw them in action with my own eyes … and on a camera screen. It all happened during lunch and yes, while I ate (& watched), they flirted.

Love birds (not the Agaponis species)

Love birds (not the Agapornis species) – just birds in love on our arbor.

Can't tell the male & female

I can’t tell which is male/female but …

Aren’t they A Good Match?
(How can I not join in this week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge when it entails a matching subject?)

They kissed!

… and kiss they did!

Peck after peck...

Peck after peck… (pardon the pun)

Since it has been warmer than usual, they probably think Spring has sprung though officially it’s still winter until March 20th. Now, the thing to watch for is a Love Nest & hopefully hear some ‘chirpy chirpy cheep cheep’.

New Neighbors of Color

We have new neighbors! The colorful kind ~ ah yes, a new couple ~ I call them the ‘new birds on the block’ and they’re the Painted Bunting Family.  I first saw them a week ago but *sigh* had no camera in hand.

This morning, as I quietly sat by the back patio steps, Mr. P. Bunting came for his breakfast.

The Painted Bunting

The Painted Bunting

We made eye contact.

We made eye contact.

Is that an element of trust?

Is that showing a little bit of trust?

To me, he simply looks like an artist’s painting palette. In the days to come I hope Mrs. Bunting joins him for breakfast and allows her photo to be taken.

Caterpillars … yum yum!

Why on earth we chose an Oleander shrub to be inserted into our front privacy hedge is beyond me.

Each time when the plant looks healthily green and budding those pesty Oleander Caterpillars appear. Clusters of their eggs hatch at the same time and they just devour that plant as if they’re at an “all-you-can-eat” buffet. I guess the smart birds somehow know that they are poisonous and do not include them in their diet ~ so they continue disfiguring the plant.

Poisonous creatures eating poisonous plant.

Poisonous creatures eating poisonous plant.

This time I actually kept checking to see if my gardening assistant would come to help out and after 2 days, (s)he did!

Yum yum ...

Yum yum …

Devouring mode

Devouring mode

Yes, Ma Nature is taking care of/balancing this cycle of life.  So you see, Wasps are not bad pests, they serve a purpose and that is why I don’t spray to kill them.

They tasted good, I guess.

They tasted good, I guess.


Now to wait and see what comes to eat the Wasps.

Feathering her Nest?

My very limited knowledge of birds restricts me from detailed commenting on the North Carolina Wren but Wikipedia tells me their preferred habitat is in dense cover in forests and farm edges. Well, these sweet birds have once set up nest in my hanging tomato planter and now they have decided to try out our porch light. Strange place but they’re most welcome.

probably measuring the "floor space" for her nest

Mama Wren probably measuring the “floor space” for her nest

Then she turns around with no chirp and no fear ~ simply stayed put while I was bringing out our recycle bin.

just looked at me

sat still and just looked at me

1 more camera click before I went in

1 more camera click before I went in

Life is so rich when you live simply and share your space with “the birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees” as the song goes …