Sierra Vista and Hereford got more than their share of rain, not just from Hurricane Odile but all summer long. The creek that seems to wash directly along the foundations of Pat's house was powerful and noisy but actually very well retained by an old wall made of cement and local rock.
During my visits I like to sleep outside in my vehicle to be closer to nature, but Pat showed me the wrought iron bird-feeder stand that their local bear had just bent over to reach some suet. The thing was not very high to begin with - so did he just pull it over it for a more convenient position while snacking? He must be brutally strong. So I slept indoors this time.
I got even a video.
There is a whitish crab spider in the background. It fits very well with the white milkweed. It's yellow 'species mates' were ambushing prey on yellow asteraceae, usually so camouflaged that only the death pose of their prey gives them away. So do they develop their own color in accordance with the flower they live on? Do they chose a flower in accordance with their own color? Can they change color reflexively?
|Lintneria istar, Istar Sphinx and|
The place was crawling with caterpillars. Pat's tomatoes were completely defoliated by Manducas that had already dug into the soil to pupate. But I found a large caterpillar of Lintneria istar (Istar Sphinx another sphingid. Pat's Pipevine (not the endemic species) stood untouched, but his dill plant was adorned with a very pretty young instar of a Black Swallowtail. Pat's garden has pretty flowers and decorative plants, but most are basically insect bait. He was just planting Ground Cherry plants to maybe entice the red cousin of the Potato Beetle to move in.
|Agraulis vanillae (Gulf Fritillary) and Stagmomantis sp..|
On the metal-grid walkway over that fish pond I was surprised to meet the Black-necked Garter Snake again that I had seen hiding under an Opuntia pad earlier. He was carefully choosing his diving spot to join the gold fish in the water.
An area adjacent to juniper oak forest is covered in natural vegetation. Adult Tortois Leaf Beetles were pressing themselves against the Datura leaves so that the pigmentless outer parts of their elytra and pronotum would prevent any cast shadow that might betray them. Instead their presence was announced by the shotgun pattern of holes in the leaves that they probably produced as larvae.
|Systropus arizonicus and Bombus sonorus (Sonoran Bumble Bee)|
|Monoleuca obliqua, Caterpillar photo C. Melton |
|This photo of a Stinkhorn (Phallus impudicus) is from an earlier visit. This time we saw Earthstars that were larger than silver dollars, but being busy chasing my bee fly, I never got a photo.|