One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

Any idea what kind of butterfly this is? And…notice anything unusual about it?

Let me know in the comments, and I’ll be back later to check your guesses!

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Well, we have shy readers today, or…? No responses and we thought this was one of our easier mysteries. But hey, we’re all busy in real life today!

This Monarch butterfly has positioned it abdomen to…

lay an egg!

The plant is Common Milkweed, a favorite food of the Monarch caterpillar. Butterflies always lay eggs on the particular plant that its caterpillar eats, so if you really wish to attract butterflies to your yard, you need to have both the nectar flowers they like and the preferred caterpillar foods.

So, we had good question come into the blog today that relates to butterflies. However, it was posted as a comment on an unrelated post from a few years ago–we assume the human reader was going back through our archives and reading more about nature–yay! This question was a bit embarrassing for Nutmeg, but she answered it honestly and we decided the fate of it being posted today meant that we should share it with all our readers, rather than let it get buried in the archives.

Mike asked:

Do squirrels search out and eat butterfly chrysilis’?
I could have sworn one of my bandits went into my pondside blackeyed susan yesterday and emerged with a bright green chrysilis he then proceeded to chow down on!
I am willing to share my tomatoes but NOT my butterflies!

And Nutmeg answered:

Em, yes we–er, they do. We are quite opportunistic in our food choices and insects are a favorite. Especially the juicy ones. Thanks for writing in with your observation, Mike, despite how much it embarrasses us.
Nutmeg

Seeing as we are squirrels and have done our best to promote humans helping wildlife, this was hard to admit. But who better to ask about squirrel habits than a group of squirrels?!

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

We haven’t had a flower for a mystery lately, so here’s one!
Give your guesses in the comments and I’ll check back later with your answer!

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Yay, we had a correct guess today–even though I didn’t show the flower from its most telling side. Look here:

It’s Trumpet Creeper Vine. As our faithful reader said, hummingbirds love gathering nectar from this deep tube–and we squirrels are thinking it’s likely they have little competition.

That said, Miz Flora stands firm that this is a plant you should plant on a trellis and keep contained! Remember, it’s a vine. It will travel everywhere, and those large compound do tend to cover other plants.

Dead Dragonfly

It’s funny what you’ll find leaping your way along human roads. Hickory and I were bought up short by a sparkle of gold.

One sniff said it wasn’t moving again.

“Too bad. The best part, eaten by a bird.” Hickory flicked his tail.

“Is that all you think about? Stuff as food?” I asked.

“Well, yeah. But if you want to look, don’t do it here or you’ll become crow food.” He gave the dragonfly a whack and sent it onto the grass.

I followed, because, yeah, I did want a closer look. “Dragonflies never sit still long enough to get a good look,” I grumbled over my shoulder.

The green eyes reminded me of the goggles humans wear at the pool, and below, his jaw was angled in the oddest way.

“Doesn’t look like he was too happy to be eaten,” Hickory quipped over my shoulder.

No, he didn’t.

 

One of Nature’s Mysteries to Solve

Hey there!

We have a tiny mystery for you this week!

 

Yes, these are on a window screen. Sorry the resolution isn’t better!

Any guesses what it is? Put ’em in the comments and I’ll check in with you later!

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We had several correct guesses best guesses of insect eggs!

Our best guess after comparing images is these are likely stink bug eggs. There are many types of stink bugs; this is one species.

See the little round mark at the ends of the eggs? Please let us know if any of you have any further ideas, and we will try to catch the bugs hatching–versus a bird!