Birds, but wait, there are flying bugs and butterflies?!! Things with wings! Sierra de San Pedro Martír-Baja Part 4
The American painted lady butterfly is found throughout North America. Vanessa virginiensis lives in flowery habitats, usually in mountains. They pass through mostly in December feeding on the Manzanita blooms but are common all year-long especially late summer when the Asters are blooming. Yes, they are one of my favourites:)
One of the most colorful butterflies that use species of oaks exclusively as food for caterpillars is the California sister (Adelpha californica). The California sister spends most of its time flying about in the high canopies of coast live oak (Quercus agricola), canyon live oak (Quercus chrysolepis), huckleberry oak (Quercus vaccinifolia) and other species. It can be seen laying its eggs on the oak foliage.
These are some favourites that can be seen all year-long. As long as there is something blooming you will see butterflies:)
Then there are the very cool moths! We see the caterpillars for the Sphinx Moths on a regular basis and then they appear-like tiny hummingbirds! The Ceanothus Silk moths pass through later in the year when temperatures have risen. They are incredibly beautiful with deep burgundy and red tones. They often land on the adobe walls of the house and spend the night there. at almost 5″ across they are huge!
There are so many things that fly:) after a week or two of warm temperatures the dragonflies start to emerge. In the arroyo at first, then staking claim to different ponds and bits of water as they wage battle for territories and over patches of the fields.
….and sometimes the everyday, can be extra ordinary here. We have Ladybugs, or Ladybirds as the commonwealth call them. These are California native ladybugs with an oval, rather than rounded, body. They have 13 or fewer spots. They take their name from the two converging white lines on the pronotum (the shield like part that covers my head).
All it takes is a little hanky panky and then you have this:
Harbringers of good luck, I shouldn’t run out for the rest of my life as I have had dozens crawling on me while photographing them;) In the winter you can find them in huge colonies in the arroyos. I’ll leave you with a few myths and legends of these lovely creatures:)
- If a ladybug lands on you then that’s very lucky. In some cultures it is believed that whatever the ladybug touches will be improved.
- If you see a ladybug that means good weather is near or that a person will soon have luck with love or money.
- If you kill a ladybug you will have bad luck (DON’T do it!!!)
- If you do get a hold of a ladybug make a wish. Whatever direction it flies away is where good luck will come from.
- Ladybugs with seven or less spots are said to be a sign of a good harvest.
- Norway folklore states that if a man and woman see a ladybug at the same time they will fall in love.
Saludos amigos and here’s wishing you a week filled with good luck! I’ll finish up with the biggest, and smallest birds here coming soon:)