I’ve been keeping an eye on the queen butterfly caterpillars that have been feeding on the milkweed and other plants in my yard. My wish was to see one go through metamorphosis, changing from a caterpillar into a chrysalis. After a couple missed attempts I was finally able to capture the transformation on video. The first part of the video starts at normal speed then into timelapse. The second part shows the main transformation in normal time. I recommend watching in fullscreen and in HD:
The desert milkweed I’ve recently planted in my yard has continued to support lots of butterfly and caterpillar activity:
Tropical Storm Newton recently passed through Tucson and it dropped a lot of water on the way. Enough that some washes flowed. The storm also brought in lost pelagic seabirds from the Sea of Cortez, like the Least Storm-Petrel. The Tucson Wildlife Center took in two petrels. Both did not make it as they had simply run out of gas. Here is their Press Release: Sea of Cortez Petrels.
This afternoon I spent an hour or so wandering around my yard to see what I could spy. Of course I had my camera gear with me and recorded what I consider to be some pretty cool critters.
First, A female Desert Spiny Lizard, on the rocks:
Wildflower blooms with some cool pollinator bugs:
A Monarch Butterfly caterpillar dining on milkweed:
And, a desert milkweed seed pod:
It’s that time of year when the nectarivorous bats raid my hummingbird feeders each night. I love that the bats visit. All I have to do is make more sugar nectar each week since they’re pretty sloppy at the feeders. Unlike hummingbirds, bats can’t really hover, so they end up doing crazy acrobatics in order to capture just a taste of the sugar water:
If you happen to live in Tucson, there is a local bridge that is well-known for its bat colony. Every evening tens of people turn out to watch tens-of-thousands of bats emerge from the crevices in the bridge and fly off for a night of hunting:
My trail cameras that I set up in the Sonoran Desert have caught some mountain lion action over the last six months: