New Photos
April 14, 2007

This week's pictures start before I left for Australia and include the startling "Easter Eve Snowstorm" that occurred while I was gone. The only pictures I took in Australia aren't in the computer yet--my computer can't read the CD, so I'll have to get the prints to Ruta for scanning next week.
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Here are two shots of a Snowberry Clearwing moth nectaring on wild plum, when the thicketing plum was in full bloom. As we're trying to eradicate Japanese honeysuckle from the creek woods, I hope the clearwing moth larvae can survive on the native honeysuckles.
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Though monarchs need milkweed for their larvae to eat, the adults will nectar on a variety of flowers, not just milkweeds. For a few days, we had monarchs on wild plum, and the golden-orange butterflies against snowy plum flowers was breathtaking. This tiny butterfly may just look dark as it flutters low across the ground, but it rewards close study. I think the wings look like painted crushed velvet.
It may not be much snow, but snow in central Texas on Easter Eve is noteworthy--even one flake. This was more than one flake. Richard emailed me about it while I was in Perth, Western Australia, and I quickly emailed back instructions on using my birthday camera, which he hadn't used before. He did a great job with these snow shots, taken in late evening/night.
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The snow came down in huge soft flakes and made a fluffy layer on the arms of the old Adirondack chair out front. Michael dyed the Easter eggs--and I love this shot of them on the snow-covered arm of the chair. The snow is so fluffy it looks more like soap-bubbles than snow, in this picture.
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Several weeks after the white-flowered wild onion has peaked, the Drummond shows up its delicate pinks and lavenders. The white-flowered one prefers damper soil and will bloom out of standing or slowly moving water. Drummond grows on drier soil, even on rock. Our native "big vine" honeysuckle is the coral honeysuckle--and I have yet to capture the one in the west woods the way it looks in life...a fountain of delicate coral-orange flowers pouring down out of the trees. Hummingbirds love it and other birds nest in it.

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