Partly Cloudy, 75-80°F.
We finally got some beneficial rain this week, and lots of plants and animals were very happy about it. I had a busy week and my only outdoor time was in the back yard.
I wish I could have gotten to this White Lined Sphinx moth earlier. Sadly, I only took one blurry photo of it rapidly pumping up it’s wings before it took off like a rocket.
The next moth I saw was barely moving, I’m not sure why. It didn’t seem hurt. So I got to take a good look at this little Tobacco Budworm Moth. He was fuzzy and seemed to have a mane of hairs.
He was sedate enough for me to get really close…
Kinda creepy this close. It has little spikes on its legs and a pretty bad haircut. I wonder if its eyes are supposed to be light-colored and dull or if it was old.
My next find was a complete accident. I was coming in the front door and almost stepped on this Rainbow Scarab Beetle, or dung beetle. They are beautiful and beneficial. From what I read, the rains might have forced this guy from his underground home.
Take a look at his powerful front digging claws. His orange segmented antennae have a poop smelling range of 10 miles. He can fly, but thankfully this one didn’t. Notice the horn on this male, the female has no horn. I keep wondering why this guy is so flashy when he lives in a tunnel under a pile of poop. Most other dung beetles I’ve read about are black or brown.
In this photo you can get a look at his middle leg and the segmented antennae.
The sun came out and his multi-colored metallic armour was super flashy.
He caught the smell of some fresh dog poop and took off towards it. When he reached it, he immediately started digging under it.
He dug a hole in a matter of seconds.
Then he was gone to create his tunnel where he and his mate will make dung balls to feed their young. This article is really interesting and describes the life cycle of this amazing beetle. Here is another article listing 10 Fascinating Facts about dung beetles. If you see a pile of dirt like this by some poop – now you’ll know what’s happening underground!
Here he is cleaning off his antennae, but I’d like to think he’s waving goodbye.