Insects

The Robin of the Butterfly World

It is early April and even though the weather is still chilly, today is a warm spring day. As I walk into the pine barren woodlands in a park on Long Island in New York, I see nothing but a gray landscape made of leafless oak trees and various heaths. Slate colored juncos (sparrow sized […]

Horror in the Milkweed Patch

Horror in the Milkweed Patch

Anne walks out the front door into our yard to look for caterpillars on the milkweed. She has seen some Monarch butterflies recently and thought they may have laid eggs on the plants. A few minutes later, she knocks on the dining room window and tells me to come quick with my camera. As I […]

The Beautiful Banded Sphinx Moth

The Beautiful Banded Sphinx Moth

When Anne takes the mail out, she calls me from our front porch. “I know your foot hurts, but you might want to bring your camera,” she tells me. Having just injured my right foot, I hobble over to the love seat, grab my camera and painfully limp over to the front door. To my […]

The Venomous Caterpillar

The Venomous Caterpillar

During a recent trip to Prospect Mountain in the foothills of the Adirondacks in New York, my grandchildren found black and white fuzzy caterpillars climbing on the rocks near the top of the mountain. I cautioned them not to touch these hickory tussock moth caterpillars because its hairs can attach to your skin and inject […]

Delightful Backyard Butterflies

Delightful Backyard Butterflies

I planted fire-bush shrubs in our backyard to attract butterflies and hummingbirds with great success. The flowers are a good source of nectar for these creatures. cloudless sulphur butterflies and zebra long-wings are two of the butterflies that frequent these bushes. We see Ruby-throated Hummingbirds too in the early morning and at dusk flying from […]

How Milkweed Helped the Tiger Swallowtail!

How Milkweed Helped the Tiger Swallowtail!

Monarch butterflies continue to find the milkweed plants in our garden to lay eggs. Soon, there are only green sticks left to our milkweed plants dotted with hungry caterpillars. Anne counts 15 monarch caterpillars of various sizes. We find a small one crawling on our hot concrete driveway looking for more milkweed plants to eat. […]

The Amazing Bug!

The Amazing Bug!

As Anne and I enjoy watching butterflies sipping nectar from our milkweed flowers and monarch caterpillars devouring milkweed leaves, we see small orange and black colored insects on the plant’s seed pods. These insects are large milkweed bugs that eat milkweed seeds. This bug has a long proboscis that pierces the seed pods and injects […]