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Thursday, September 18, 2014

These are the Creatures in my Neighborhood

No way some gussied up insect will ever take the place of birds in my heart, but sometimes I do give the little guys a look. A couple of days ago I was driving home on a back street and I spotted juvenile Yellow-billed Magpies.

I enjoyed scrambling to get these shots of the little guys using my iPhone camera as shot through my binoculars.

These young birds crack me up with their yellow 'spectacles'. The flock was composed of a half dozen birds, which I assume were a family group out foraging for lunch.

The little flock flew off, just about the time I noticed something interesting in the house next door.
Beautiful, Big and What the hell is it?
Sipping at a Zinnia
Have to admit I was immediately smitten by these over-sized flutterbys. When I got home I did a bit of on line research and discovered these beauts are Gulf Fritillarys. The surprising thing about them is although they are not native to California, they've been here in the area, from Sacramento to the Bay area, since the turn of the start of the last century.

A few days later I did a repeat visit to the butterfly yard. The owner ventured out to find out whom  the woman wildly snapping photos of his Zinnias might be. We introduced ourselves and had a lively chat about butterflies, the wonder that is retirement and Zinnias. Not realizing I am Mistress of the Gulag Garden, he encouraged me to collect as many dried Zinnia flower heads as I cared to, so I can have a go at growing the butterfly attractants for myself. I know. Not going to happen.

Never-the-less, I enjoyed my butterfly spotting and here is some of the butterflies flutter-bying.

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