Autumn In Moab

Two Weeks Ago – Moab was just starting to turn the lovely colors of fall.  I took some photos from around my yard and neighborhood, including a (not great) picture of a lovely mule deer buck who has been hanging out in the neighborhood with a bunch of does.  He spends most of his time in the old orchard at the end of the street.

Some new bird photos from recently.  The White-Breasted Nuthatch was a new addition to my lifelist, and would NOT hold still for a good picture.  The Spotted Towhee and the Rock Wrens are old buddies of mine.

Here’s our friendly neighborhood buck:

This Morning – Snow.  White, cold, nasty.  So utterly unwanted.  It was just a light dusting, luckily, and is already almost gone.

Last but certainly not least, I had the nerve to walk by Mindy and out the door to take pictures of the snow without stopping at the food bin to feed her first thing.  She was NOT pleased.  Here she is trying to look away and act like she’s ignoring me, but she just can’t help licking those chops…

Thanks for visiting, and Happy Thanksgiving tomorrow!

The Worm And The Moth

We had an interesting visitor in our laundry room last week.  Actually, I guess that would be TWO interesting visitors.

First, Rich found this giant, fleshy worm crawling across the floor.  We took him outside to look at him better, and took pictures of him.  He looked like a tomato horn-worm, only not that horrific bright green color that tomato worms are.  Here he is next to Rich’s pinky finger, on his own, and with a hungry praying mantis eyeballing him.  We put him in a tomato plant outside, in case he was some off-colored tomato worm after all, and forgot about him.

Just a little over a week later, we found the most amazing moth (could be a butterfly…) in the laundry room.  This was by far the biggest moth I have ever seen – much larger than a sphinx moth (which we have lots of here).  I didn’t ever measure him, but he was definitely in excess of 6 inches across.  He hung around in the laundry room for several days, greeting (and scaring) us when we turned on the lights.  I tried leaving the door open to the outside one day for a while, in hopes that he would go out, but he didn’t.  He chose to make his final landing on a stack of clean washcloths that were on the dryer.  He died there during the night.  I was actually really sad that he died.  It’s hard to see something beautiful die. You can see him on the top of the lefthand pile, on the green washcloth.

After he died, I placed him on an unknown Mammillaria, and took some more photos.  He was iridescent in some places, and was very furry.  I should have taken photos of him next to a ruler, but I didn’t think to.

I really couldn’t tell you whether or not the worm was one of this beautiful moth’s siblings, but it seems too much of a coincidence that 2 foreign animals turned up in the laundry room within a week of each other – animals that are directly related in such a way.

Just for fun, here is a video of the worm (caterpillar) crawling.  I just loved the way he moved!  He kind of ripples along.  I WILL say that he was totally uncooperative when it came to trying to photograph his legs.  He wouldn’t even let us get a LOOK at them!

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Do any of you know what this caterpillar and/or moth are?

August 2017
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