Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Monarchs and Moths

Dear Mary and Jeni,
Happy to have a Sphinx Moth on my finger.
Photo by Sharon Watson
On Tuesday I went to visit Sharon, a birding friend who showed my her lovely yard and pond and many areas set up for the birds.  I was especially impressed by the dead snags she had set up for woodpeckers. I would love to do that here.  I have warned Jim.  

She also let me release a Sphinx moth she had caught the night before. I was so enamored to be close to it that I couldn't bring myself to poke it away after it had warmed up.   

Spurge Hawk Moths chowing down
Sharon also shared some caterpillars with me.  So after the  monarchs fly away I will still have some 'cats' to take care of.
First Monarch hatch of 2013.
Then this morning (8/21) the first of my 6 surviving monarchs hatched.  One more is darkening and should not be long now.
The first monarch gathering strength on a Zinnia 8/21.
8/25, the last of 6 monarch hatched successfully this morning.  I sure hope they make it all the way South and back.  None of them stayed around in the garden to nectar.


Sharon Watson said...

Hi Nancy

How r those Spurge Cats doing? Mine were very easy to move from the old plants to new by hand today. I counted 51 so u must have 26 Cats? Most were shedding so instead of finding a lots of poop it was dead skins. There sure r growing fast.

Have u release all ur Monarchs yet?


Sharon Watson said...

Congrats on the flight of ur last 5 raised Monarchs Nancy!!!


Sharon Watson said...

Hi Nancy,

I have been so busy with grandchildren that I have done very little birding and no photography at all. With such a lousy start to the nesting I thought I was best to leave the birds alone this season. Fledglings here in the yard have been the Tree Swallow, Flicker, Downy, Hairy, House Finch, House Sparrow, Orioles,Chipping Sparrow, Yellow Warbler and a handful of species one never sees the fledglings until the size of the adults.

I probably won't make it this year so I will ask how is the Say's Phoebe family doing?

Another question for you Nancy is do you see large caterpillars munching away on your grapevine or is it Virginia creeper you have? What and how to look for...large holes on leaves and flip them over to look for pillars.

I am raising 5 Monarchs and found one egg a couple of days ago I found on the leaves I brought in the caterpillars to eat.

One more question...are you seeing any Spurge Hawkmoth caterpillars near the tops of the leafy spurge plants. If so let me know as I might want to borrow a pillar for the Audubon talk in GF a week from Thursday evening.

Hope all is going well for you and you are having a wonderful summer!

Thanks again.