Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wildlife Wednesday - August 2015

It's too darn hot.  The Ella Fitzgerald song frequents my mind every time I step outside right now.  We have had consistent weeks of 100+ degree F days, with many more weeks of similar weather ahead.  It is the time of year that I spend the least amount of time in the garden, and the least amount of time snapping pictures of wildlife in the yard.  But somehow, I was still able to manage a handful of pictures for Tina's Wildlife Wednesday meme.


The green anoles and Texas spiney lizards don't seem to mind the terrible heat at this time of year.


Eastern black swallowtails are very common in my garden.  I normally have black swallowtail caterpillars chomping on fennel, dill, and parsley most of the year.  The Eastern tiger swallowtail, pictured here, however, is a much rarer sight in my garden.

This one stayed long enough for me to run inside, grab my camera, and grab a few quick shots.  Flighty butterflies, like this beauty, are always the most difficult to snap pictures of, so I got luck this time.

He/she is really enjoying the cotton candy lantana, which supplies ample nectar this time of year for butterflies, bees, and hummingbirds.

Bugs & Other Critters

This obscure bird grasshopper was found basking in the hot summer sun in the courtyard.

The gold and black dragonfly (pachydiplax longipennis) stopped for just long enough for me to snap a shot.  The dragonflies have really been buzzing about the yard quite a bit during this hot and dry spell.

A milkweed assassin bug (zelus longipes) hangs out on the tropical milkweed.  Maybe this guy is the reason why I haven't seen any monarch caterpillars this season.  Bummer.

These furry little caterpillars appear to be fall webworms.  They quickly munched down a bunch of my volunteer sunflower leaves.  Thankfully, I haven't spotted any of their webs in the trees, so maybe other predators got to them before they were too destructive.  I wouldn't mind a few making it to adulthood, though.  Their adult stage as a tiger moth is quite striking.

Some little spider that I can't ID, hanging out on the shed door (glad I noticed him before reaching to open the shed!)  Anyone know what this guy is?

And to end, some type of cactus bug that is happy munching away on the spineless prickly pear cacti.

Thanks for checking out my latest garden wildlife.  Be sure to stop by My Gardener Says blog for more garden wildlife from other bloggers!


  1. Despite the crazy hot weather you manage to take amazing pictures! I like the lizards, they probably enjoy the warmth a lot and you've been really lucky to catch the Eastern Swallowtail standing still for a few moments!
    Also, good to know about the milkweed assassin bug (I have to check if it also lives around here).

  2. Rebecca, your photos are just beautiful. I love the shadow cast by the grasshopper in the two photos. I've also had the assassin bugs on my milkweeds. Grrrr. You know what I've done with some of them? Picked them off and tossed them into the large yellow/black spider web. Maybe she get her fill of them and not catch so many of my bees!!

    The spider is darling--there are so many, that they're sometimes hard to id. I'll keep an eye out, but....

    Thanks so much for joining in--I always look forward to your posts!

  3. "Somehow", indeed! Those butterfly photos are superb - those big flittery gals are hard to capture and you did so from several angles. Really impressive! That grasshopper is impressive as well, but it is that little spider I'm happiest you noticed in time. Not that I know it to be venomous or anything else, I just know it is discouraging to accidentally smash anything and with the heat nobody needs anything but encouragement this time of year. Here's to August's arrival and the beginning of the countdown to cooler weather!

  4. Why is it such a thrill to spot little critters around the garden? Maybe because they are a relatively rare sight. We have none of those velvety anoles, so of course that is what I am drawn to.

  5. I love visiting to see your lizards and other critters....we have no lizards and I just love them!