An abandoned mercantile building sits in tiny Urbanette, AR. It’s not on my map, but north of Eureka Springs on Highway 21. I’m always fascinated by old buildings like this. Wish I knew their story. The faded sign with a blue chain saw atop it reveals this was most recently the Blue Mountain Chain Saw Repair. If these old walls could talk…
HDR from a single RAW. Photomatix.
This seems to be butterfly week at the casita. The yard is full of them. A testament to what can be done with a small area when you plant for birds and butterflies. This guy’s face is featureless, but he could care less. He is totally focused on eating. He doesn’t have much time before cold weather arrives. Caterpillars must be hatched on the type of leaf that they can eat, milkweed in the case of Monarchs. After eating their egg case they start to work on the leaf they hatched on. They are only caterpillars for a couple of weeks before they spin a silk web and attach to a twig. They molt and become a J-shaped chrysalis for a couple of weeks while metamorphosis takes place. Then they emerge as a butterfly. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find some of the chrysalis and photograph them. It would really be cool if we can catch one emerging. Stay tuned.
Just yesterday we discovered Monarch caterpillars in the yard and today we get Black Swallowtail eggs. Carolyn and I were sitting on the patio this evening having a glass of wine and watching the butterflies and birds in the back yard. I planted some parsley early this year in hopes of getting some Black Swallowtails and today it paid off. I watched a female repeatedly land on the parsley and deposit eggs. There are two eggs clearly visible in the center of this pic and several others as well. I hope I don’t miss chronicling their development, we are leaving Thursday for Dallas and maybe a couple of nights in a safari style tent near a water hole on a Texas game ranch stocked with African game. Retirement is such a bitch, but a lovely one.
A migrating Monarch Butterfly stops on a Desert Willow in my back yard. Unlike most insects and butterflies, Monarchs only have four legs, visible in photo. The front two have evolved into false legs. These beauties that are passing through red dirt country right now have a tough journey through a thousand miles of drought-stricken land before they reach their wintering grounds high in the mountains of Mexico.
A side shot of the female Black Swallowtail enjoying the greenhouse flowers at College of the Ozarks in Branson. A beauty like this is worth a second look. I should know what kind of flowers those are, but can’t recall their name. Anyone know?