Today’s Nature Walk

Today was a yet another beautiful sunny day, so we headed outside for a a bit of a nature walk. What was the first thing we saw. A gorgeous great blue heron!

heron

We stopped by the pond out back and saw a plethora of little minnows in the shallows.

minnows

And a little blue damselfly flitting around.

damselfly

When we turned around we were greeted by two of the local Canadian geese ready for a swim.

goose

On the way back to the house we came across this little buckeye butterfly.

buckeye

The other day it was really, really windy out and I was surprised to see this little guy trying to cling on to a blade of grass. Every once in a while he would get blown off and would quickly try to attach to another blade. You can see how his wings were kind of blown around.

dragonfly

Bug Adventures

Hailey has been so interested in bugs lately that even though we have completed our units on butterflies and bees the bug observation continues. She happened to find a curious looking moth yesterday outside of our front door. After doing a little searching online we found that it was a Sphinx moth.

My first encounter with a Sphinx moth was actually during the day at my mother’s house. I remember looking at this odd creature that looked to be a mix between a bee, butterfly, and hummingbird. It had the coloration of a bee, was drinking nectar from flowers, and hovering with its fast beating wings like a hummingbird. Needless to say, we were stumped as to what this creature could be. It was not until Hailey became interested in bugs over the past few months that I finally found the name for this unique creature!

The moth that Hailey found yesterday was of a different subfamily of sphinx moths – macroglossinae subfamily, xylophanes tersa. We found a website that is currently categorizing all sphinx moths (also known as hawk moths) county by county across the states as well as throughout the Americas. We checked our county, but found no active listings. After checking the more populous county to our north we found a picture of our moth. Apparently this particular type of moth is fairly common in our area. We then decided to submit our own pictures as well as our county to the site to aid in their research compilation project.

We received a return email stating that Hailey’s finding would be posted on the site, activating the webpage for our county and giving credit to Hailey for the find. You can see it here. Hailey was ecstatic!