Sunday, September 21, 2008

Visitors and residents from this weekend

This morning I caught Cathy Jean by surprise when she was taking a nap in the sun with her front legs dangling over the side of this 2x10 piece of wood. It was pretty cute. But Cathy Jean didn't want me to see her so relaxed so she woke up and shot me this mean look. While I tried to take her picture, she scrambled as fast as she could to find an area where I couldn't see her.

Not far away from her, there was an orb weaver who had built a web between the two hanging baskets of lantana.

The monarch who came into the yard to enjoy the lantana stayed at the top of the baskets. Safe.

A funnel-web spider took in some sunshine (their webs are all over everywhere, this is the only funnel-web spider I could find out in the open and he was huge!).

Praying mantis in the backyard.

Praying mantis in the frontyard.

Praying mantis pondering on the front porch.

When the two stray cats are done eating dinner, the leftovers go to this juvenile possum. Possums are just the strangest looking things. They look like they walk on four little pink fingered hands. This guy is cute and when he scampers away, he is fast! He doesn't have that ambling waddle that the older ones have.

You can't tell in this picture but that gray cat I despise is passed out on the bench behind him. Full tummy.

Another orb weaver in the backyard is busy reweaving this web. The little possum is eating right below him. I probably should not be out with my camera and its flash while the police helicopters are flying over my backyard with their searchlights. It's your typical Saturday night. They're searching for the kind of wildlife I don't want in my backyard. That only happened once.

And then there is this beautiful thing. This Pandora sphinx moth was on my front porch screen when I was on my way out tonight. I hope he's still there tomorrow morning so I can take a picture of him in his real colors (he's supposed to be olive and dark pink!!!). This was done with a flash at night so I won't know the real colors until I see him tomorrow morning.

I got out a ruler and measured him. He's 2.5 inches wide between the bottom tips of the wings. I'm leaving the porch light off tonight so I'm the only one who knows he's there. And hopefully, tomorrow, he'll still be there and I'll have a photo that is even prettier. :-)

9 comments:

The Weaver of Grass said...

Your photographs are superb. I love that enormous moth (I actually have a phobia about moths but in a photograph it is majestic). You have certainly been out and about with your camera - and still so much to photograph in your own garden.

Mair said...

dang - not only are you a grasshopper's grazing ground but you are apparently a praying mantis' paradise!

seriously, i've not seen so many of them in one place like that that wasn't a field or wilderness somewhere.

hope you got your daylight pic of the moth - i can't wait to see what it "really" looks like!

Gran said...

Terrific photos, especially that look from the turtle!

Maria said...

Weaver-I'm glad I got so much photographed yesterday because although today is windless and sunny, I haven't seen anybody yet. That moth took my breath away. It looked like some Paris fashion from the art deco era-even without accurate color.

Mair-Dang. The Pandora sphinx moth (well deserving of such a cool name) was gone this morning. I woke up early too! But take a look at this photo to see what the daylight colors would have been (sigh)...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Pandorus_sphinx.jpg

Gran-Those two turtles always give me scowls. They have a whole range of scowls they use when they have to interact with me.

Mair said...

wow - that is an absolutely gorgeous-looking moth. i hope yours comes around during the day to show off its finery!

Country Girl said...

That moth is incredible! And you have got so much going on in your backyard. Why, it's plethora of insects and mammals!

Q said...

Dear Maria,
Wow!! The Pandora Sphinx Moth is fantastic. I have never seen one.
I also love seeing so many spiders. Your backyard is a haven for bugs and turtles...
This was a fun post. I always enjoy seeing your turtles.
Sherry

Maria said...

Kate-you forgot to mention reptiles! :-)

Maria said...

Sherry-I'm hoping that moth is on its way to your place so it can get photographed with your new macro lens. That moth was a stunner. I had never seen anything like it before.