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Saturday, August 1, 2015

A few little firsts

August 1st, my first granddaughter's 31st birthday. Took my first photo of a blue moon right before 8 AM as I was arriving at CMO.

Saw my first female amberwing of the year today. Female amberwings are rarely seen unless copulating or ovipositing. I was a fraction too slow to catch the copulation (had the camera set for something else I'd been photographing), but got shots of her ovipositing (laying eggs). The problem is they're blurry because she was moving so fast. I'm assuming both the male and female are Eastern Amberwings, although I suspect the W Texas population may be an intergrade with Mexican Amberwing. Hopefully, someone will do the research on that topic. To me it looked like they both had the abdomen of a Mexican and the thorax of an Eastern.

Female amberwing ovipositing
Male amberwing
Also saw my first clubskimmer today. The one I saw was a Pale-faced Clubskimmer, not listed as rare for here, so surprising I hadn't seen one before. I was moving the sprinkler and didn't have my camera or binoculars on me. At first I thought it was just a Great Spreadwing, but something about that big white spot made me take a second look, then run for the camera. I only got off a couple of shots before it disappeared, but I felt very lucky to have been able to relocate it after going for my camera.

My project for today was to get weeds pulled. There are two groups of  birders coming later this month, so I'm hoping to get the road worked on before then too. I just pulled the weeds, one patch at a time until my hand wouldn't grip anymore. Got most of them pulled, at least until the next big rain. Here's a small sample patch. They're all those awful invasive nightshade plants. Have to wear leather gloves to pull them so I don't get my hand full of stickers.


A Pipevine Swallowtail let me get right up to it. My lens won't focus that close so I had to back away a little.

There are just no birds or butterflies around. Even the cowbirds are gone. Lots of hummingbirds though. Haven't had rain since that big one on July 8. Needing it bad what with every day being around 100°.
I guess this snake is a coachwhip. It chased a frog but the frog was too fast.

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