Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Pretty Moth

I found this moth in the lawn while out mowing yesterday evening. No, I did not mow over it! (Please, credit me with having some compassion!) I carefully moved it out of harm's way. Then when I had finished mowing, I went back to check on it. It was still there so I took a few pictures.

I got the bright idea to put a yardstick next to it so you could see the size of the wingspan. That is one giant moth.

I checked a little bit ago and the moth is gone now. Perhaps it revived itself and flew away, or maybe a bird ate it this morning.

I think it is a type of sphynx moth, but don't know much more than that about it. Update 07/26/2006 - Thanks to Annie in Austin for sending a comment... this is most likely a male Giant Imperial Moth. Here's a site that help you identify insects: What's That Bug and here's a site to see the caterpiller that turns into this lovely moth.

I enjoyed seeing it and wish now that if it had truly died, that I would have saved it to show my niece and nephews who love bugs and spiders. Once at a family birthday party, someone commented about the big spider on the steps by the front door, and those three went running out to take a look at it. They nearly trambled one another to get to it. A lot of kids would have recoiled at the thought of a spider, and probably hours later would have refused to leave by those steps. I don't know how my sister and brother-in-law are doing it, but they are raising three kids who aren't afraid of bugs (or spiders, though they do tend to run when they see a giant wolf spider, but who wouldn't? Don't click that spider link if you don't like to see pictures of spiders!! You have been warned!)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Unidentified Fungus Among Us

My sister begged me to post this picture of some fungus she has growing next to a tree stump (old sugar maple) in her back yard. It looks like a pile of dog doo, but it is fungus that keeps growing.

We have no idea what it is. Does anyone have any ideas? I told her to just knock it off the stump and bury it, and she said she didn't want to, just in case it turned out to be some new species of fungus. Wonder where she got the idea that you could find new plant species in your own back yard?

Anyway, lest you think her backyard is just a haven for disgusting looking fungi, here's a picture of some yarrow flowers she has blooming now. She has a lot of flowers growing in her back and side yards, basically wherever she has sun. I'll post a complete expose' on her garden on my regular garden blog someday soon.