Saturday, April 26, 2008

Wildlife galore

I feel like a diverse wildlife population is a sign of a healthy garden. If I'm right, we have one of the best set ups around!! What we've been watching the most lately are our three little black swallowtail caterpillars (or, calapitters, as Sierra calls them). We had been watching these things gorge themselves on our dill (we have more than harm done) and were pleasantly surprised to find they are black swallowtails and dill is one of their first choices for food (along with fennel and parsley). One seems to have gone away (or is very cleverly disguised), but the other two have decided to set up shop and turn into butterflies right outside our back door yay!!! Sierra now tells everyone, "calapitters turn into butterflies and that's called metamorphosis" LOL
So the first pic is one of them done eating and preparing to go into its cocoon, the second pic, you can see the cocoon (chyrsalis, I think??)

The first one should come out next Saturday or Sunday and the second just stopped eating tonight and should be in a cocoon by tomorrow morning.

The next set of neat pics:

Scary looking snake, right? Nope! Biggest skink known to man (or, at least, known to me)

We have a (I'm assuming) mating pair of these things living in the yard. We keep seeing them by the back door and near the closest garden bed. Looked them up online and they are the biggest skink in Texas (up to 13 inches long!) and this is mating season.

And along with the biggest skink....the teeniest tiniest praying mantis ever! It's an itty bitty baby:

Now, you would think *anything* this small would be interested in hiding away and not being noticed. Nope. I'm fairly certain it was tracking a spider ten times it's size and no joke, it charged me several times while I was trying to take a picture. I had to take about 10 to get two good ones because I would hold the camera up and it would do this crazy kamikaze death charge thing and run at the camera. I swear, you could see it thinking, "I will come and eat you in the night". It was way cute. It was on top of the car and we were going somewhere, so we set it safely in the yard to hunt less beneficial critters.

As for the human wildlife---Sedona has learned to sit up by herself, yay! I put her on the floor on her tummy and turned around and when I turned back she was sitting up! She just looks at you like, "so? what's the big deal?" I, of course, took a picture, but it's kind of a lame picture since it's fuzzy, and her nose is running and she's got prunes all over her shirt. But then, that's what life with kids is really like ;-)

And here's Sierra in her new dress I made her. She doesn't want me to shorten it and I'm pretty sure my tomboy will step on it and rip it if I don't. I got her to sit still for one picture (unlike the "twirly skirt" a few posts down), but then she also insisted on a "crazy picture" I've included both...

1 comment:

One Acre Homestead said...

Your Praying Mantis story made me laugh out loud! How funny! Also, that first photo of the skink did look freaky...with the triangular head and all. He's a really cool looking lizard! We had a great anole that hung out on our back porch when we were down in CS. I miss that lil guy. I have a photo of him somewhere that I took just before we loaded up the U-Haul. :-)

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