November 30th
10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Oakwoods Metropark
2911 Willow Rd
Flat Rock, MI 48134

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Photo Friday

Let’s begin with an Oct. double rainbow—so clear we were able to see every color of the spectrum

Many of the photos I submitted to the blog this past season, have revolved around
Monarchs. I was fortunate this summer to have a large number of milkweed plants play
host for the Monarchs. As things progressed, I became a surrogate whose task was to oversee
the nursery so to speak……
Posted in order are #1……..the earliest noted. no wonder they get missed
#2 is a full size caterpillar. #4 talk about appetites……….when they were all done and
had gone into chrysalis stage, all that was left was the main stems.

#5 once they are big enough, they seek out a place to make their chrysalis.
#6 the spot chosen, they will curl up to begin the change
# 7 the end result. they stay in this state until they have transformed into a butterfly
#8 when ready they will emerge from the bottom of the chrysalis and hang there until

their wings have uncurled fully and partially dried.
#9 where did it go
#10 & #11 fortunate to be able to teach my granddaughter the life cycle of the Monarch
#12 sitting in sun and fanning its wings

After hatching, their wings are stiff and wet and they must dry out.
They will fan their wings while hanging from the chrysalis or walk to
a spot where there is room to do this. Very vulnerable at this time.
We had one day where the bush right outside my kitchen window
held 4 of newly hatched Monarchs. As soon as they could fly
they headed for nectar plants.

I tried to keep tabs on the milkweed nursery but it wasn’t easy. I collected 18 empty chrysalis, which
would lead me to believe I had at least 18 eggs go full cycle. I collected 7 “damaged” chrysalis
cases………..and i saw at least 5 deformed caterpillars………….
WOW–a few things off my bucket list…………..hoping for a repeat next year.

in closing….a fall sunset and a couple of other visitors I came across
Isn’t nature just grand………….gk


Connie and Gail offered photos for today…Gail writes:

Connie and I both found some of our caterpillars looking dried up………
had not a clue but got on-line and learned that despite the
foul taste, there are predators…………..
you will see our native stink bug–you can see a
narrow tube from the bug to the caterpillar. The stink bug pierces the
soft caterpillar and literally sucks out all it juices, reducing it to a dried up
piece of tissue. The last pic shows another predator, the milkweed bug-
doing about the same but to a chrysalis………..
other predators of the Monarchs are ants, spiders, & wasps.


While monitoring milkweed plants for Monarch activity Gail came across this
caterpillar–chomping away on the leaves of her milkweed plants. Needless to say, due to
a large number of Monarch caterpillars, these were removed from the area.
Unsure if a light on at night in this area, attracted the source of these caterpillars, which
continued to show & she persisted in moving.

Can you name this caterpillar?

Turkey Vultures

Gail writes: We had a large grouping of turkey vultures roost Friday night in various tress in yards that surround our home
yesterday morning, they sat drying their wings and then left…… did not come back to roost last night. WHEW!!!!
must be on their migratory path……hoping they don’t come back, at least to these trees, come spring…..

the last picture is a gray heron who visited and then rudely ate most of the goldfish in our pond………

Check out these interesting facts about rkey vultures here: http://www.kern.audubon.org/tvfacts.htm

It’s strange how things sometimes happen for the best. I was looking at a response to my last post on my hydrangeas from Naida where she gave a link to a potential answer. So I read this and then saw there were several additional articles as I scrolled down on various topics. One caught my eye…here’s the link: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/report_sightings_of_brown_marmorated_stink_bugs_in_your_home_or_business.

As I began to read the article about the brown marmorated stink bug, I look up and this is what I see:
Notice the white bands on the antennae and the pattern on the abdomen area. I am fortunate that it was at our camper and not our home. The camper is sealed much tighter with fiberglass exterior, whereas my home has siding that they can easily use as their winter home. This species is invasive.

Yes, It is that time of year…about 6 more appeared throughout the day. We cautiously entered our door making sure that none were there before we entered. The map shown in the article shows that at in my area it is well established an no longer necessary to report it. If you find one, here’s another link to a great article from MSU on how to manage them: http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/managing_brown_marmorated_stink_bugs_in_homes.