Thursday, April 17, 2008


These are for you.

Actually, I didn't pick them , only clasped them for a moment ... so they aren't going to arrive any time soon as they are still growing by the back porch.

(Yes, I mowed around them last weekend)

When I was a kid and needed to bring Mom some flowers, it was most often Fleabane ... which we kids just called "Daisies".
Near the aft port side of PFHQ, there grows a mystery patch of fleabane. It's dense with plants that fill a 3x2 foot area between a backdoor stoop and the house corner. It looks like a small planted bed of flowers ... so perfect and thick with plants.

None of us remember planting them although the seeds can be bought. It just seems an oddity because usually this plant is scattered here and there in the yard.
It's the kind of mini-mystery Pablo might ponder on his fine blog, RoundRock Journal.
However, they got here, whether it was us or flowerindipity, they are welcome.

The fleabane has been a bit of a bug magnet lately.
Here are a few of the visitors.

This butterfly was the prettiest thing to visit while I was there.
It had a very twitchy back end ... the two extensions were bobbing up and down while it fed.
I don't know any of these insects personally, so I'll leave it up to you to ID them ... or not.

If you think about how small fleabane flowers are, you can get a sense of this bug's miniscule size. He's got a neat pattern and he was extremely busy except when he stopped to dive head first into the yellow centers of the flowers.

This looks like someone's larvae ... maybe a lady bug?
I know I should spend more time learning my insects, but my brain is full of other stuff ...

I almost stopped those wings, but he was faster than me.

Have a great Thursday and don't forget to smell the fleabane while ye may.


valown said...

Good photography skills, and I'm sure DougT will help us with IDs. I suck at IDing insects as well.

olbap said...

That Pablo! He wonders about the strangest things.

dani813 said...

Love the flowers. Elizabeth is always bringing me green eyes to put in a vase.So cute when we're little bringing our mommy flowers.
Pablo has a great mind. I like his wondering about all manner of things.Good blog over there at RRJ.

Doug Taron said...

The first butterfly is beautiful. It's an olive hairstreak (Callophrys gryneus), though many folks now call it a juniper hairstreak following the usage in Butterflies Through Binoculars. I can't break old habits on this one. The skipper in the last photo is at a togh angle and moving, however I'm pretty sure that it's a Sachem (Atalopedes campestris).

threecollie said...

Amazing butterfly there! I have never seen anything like it!

robin andrea said...

I'm so glad Doug could ID that butterfly. That's the prettiest thing I've seen on a blog this spring. What a beauty. When I was a kid, all flowers were daisies, except, of course, for roses.

Dr. Know said...

Beautiful hairstreak - too bad you couldn't get an anterior shot.
Probably a variable subspecies of the Juniper Hairstreak, Callophrys gryneus gryneus although with all that heavy rust, it might be Callophrys hesseli. Taxonomy being what it is, an argument over the ID will ensue.

Don't get much of anything interesting around here anymore - just the common 5 species. I used to visit with Lucian Harris many years ago (before moving to Florida to escape white trash lawyers) - do I get a gold star for name dropping?

Hessel's Hairstreak

'Olive' Juniper Hairstreak

Oh, yea. You Suck.

Anonymous said...

I never knew those were called fleabane, I always seen them everwhere, but every just called them daisies. Thanks for the info. You have a lovely blog. I think I will visit it in the future.

Anonymous said...

I'm with the other "daisy-brains." Why did my mother never explain this to me? And yes, beautiful butterfly. I don't think we have anything quite like that in the KC area. Maybe Pablo can verify that.

swamp4me said...

I am going to refrain from saying rude things to you...I'm just in a bad mood because I have been stuck in the office ALL DAY LONG.

Beautiful pictures. I agree with the butterfly ID of Juniper Hairstreak - it's not a Hessel's. If it were a Hessel's, I'd have to come down there and hurt you. Oh, did I mention I'm in a bad mood because I have been in the office ALL DAY!!! ;)

misti said...

We've been touring some property for work this week and fleabane is making its presence known. Nice and simple

Floridacracker said...

They are outside my main interests so the urge to ID is easily tempered by other distractions :)

He is consumed by them I fear.

She got her share of dandelions and toadflax too!

Thanks. I'm thinking of a post called "Doug" in which I will post every unknown insect photo I have on file.

I hear ya, I don't think I've come across this one before either.

He's pretty masterful at Insect ID. Glad you liked it!

Science never sucks dude. No such thing as suction.
You might get a gold star at an insect site. I've never heard of your friend.

WELCOME TO PURE FLORIDA! I hope you stop back by.

Pablo may know, alas, I have never been to this place called Kansas.

You need to get outside girl. I prescribe a canoe,a paddle, and some water.

Floridacracker said...

It is simply beautiful.

Dr. Know said...

OK - FYI, Lucien Harris was the grandson of Joel Chandler Harris, the southern folklore writer and author of the Uncle Remus stories. Lucien served as the Southeastern Manager for Macmillan Publishers and was directly involved with the logistics of the publication of Gone With the Wind and became a lifelong friend of its author, Margaret Mitchell.

Throughout his adult life he spent virtually every moment he could on field trips, to collect and study the butterflies and moths of the state and region. In 1931, A List of the Butterflies of Georgia was published, being essentially an annotated checklist of the species taken in the state up to that time. A revised edition, edited by Austin H. Clark, was published in 1950 as The Butterflies of Georgia, Revised, containing substantial new material and a comprehensive bibliography prepared by Mr. Clark. These two publications, along with extensive new records by Lucien and many other collectors in the 1950's and 1960's, laid the groundwork for his culminating work, The Butterflies of Georgia, published in 1972 by University of Oklahoma Press. This volume, in the format of a field guide, covers and illustrates every species of butterfly known to occur in Georgia (and the SE).

Lucien was a charter member of the Lepidopterists' Society, a founding member of the Georgia Ornithological Society, an associate member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, as well as a member of the Florida Audubon Society, the Tennessee Ornithological Society and the Georgia Academy of Science.

And in addition to that long-winded dissertation, a nice guy as well - as was his wife. Just the sort of fellow you probably would have liked, and a big fan of natural science - unlike the nationally embrassing Neanderthals these crackers elect to public office today.

Now don't you wish you had feigned knowledge?

kathy a. said...

well, i can't top that last remark.

but we have fleabane in our yard too! all the way out in california! i saw some growing from a crack in our street today, even, which is a sure sign of of a plant that is determined to survive.

Floridacracker said...

Yes, I see now that there may be some merit to feigning knowledge.

Kathy A,
I am amazed at how adaptable and widespread some of our North American plants and animals are. Blogging keeps opening my eyes to this.

Julie Zickefoose said...

O beautiful juniper hairstreak! The tailwagging action is to divert a potential predator's attention to its false "head". You see a lot of hairstreaks with their tails clipped off by birds, so it works. I've even been fooled, focusing on the tails because the motion attracts me. Love your blog.

Dr. Know said...


Floridacracker said...

Thanks, I found the wiggly tails drew my attention also. I'm partial to green so I really like this butterfly and now, thanks to the blogosphere, I know what I'm looking at!

I do appreciate the info. The Remus connection especially since I grew up on those tales.

Dr. Know said...

I'll keep it brief - but I noticed an entomologist or two hanging around. Wouldn't want the guy for fade into obscurity just yet. Peace!

Anonymous said...

Who is this Dr. Know? He's new. I like him.

Anonymous said...

Oh - and Fc, it was fleabane whats I done just run over with MY mowflex. I left a couple of patches, though - I couldn't chop it all. It's just too pretty. I have not seen much insect activity on mine, though. Perhaps a closer look is in order...

...and dang you Doug for beating me to the ID. Don't you have larvae to move around, or feed, or something? Don't you have exotic islands to tour and make everyone jealous with? Don't you have eggs to count? Lepidopteran sexual organs to dissect? Something? ;) Seriously, as always, you're the man. I just knew it was a hairstreak. But you, friend - two words. El hombre.

Dr. Know said...

Not new, thingfish23, only on hiatus due to carpal tunnel. 23 years of mousing has done in the hands. Anyone who raises mosquito larva, however, has got to appreciate this:
Dutch Planted
and this:
Ex-Florida resident, amateur lepidopterist, ichthyologist, sci-fi fan, MASM bit twiddler, woodturner, political watchdog and general all around rabble-rouser. Nice to meet you, too. Got a nubile sister? ;-)

Floridacracker said...

I feel like

Dr. Know said...

FC, don't feel that way. You have much higher quality visitors, and it doesn't cost anything to talk to people here. It was also a joke - I wouldn't subject any poor woman to my curmudgeonly behaviour these days. I'm actually about done with all of it - too old, too much baggage.

TF, I did enjoy the occasional visits to Naples (and the Ridgemore Pub on Jazz night) - except for that one set-up/party in 1996...