Last Friday, Junior called me and asked, "Hey it's going to be a full moon Saturday, do you think it would be okay to go out to the sandspit?"
Now, I am always ready to go out to the sandspit for a night walk at low springtide, so I was about to say, " Yeah, it sounds great to me" ...
He continued, "I want to take Julia and India (2 young ladies) out there and show them all the cool stuff."
" Great idea, you have a 9:00 pm low tide so it's just about perfect. Go and have a good time."
Of course before he was allowed to go out on the sandspit at night with two (I'm so proud!) girls, we had THE TALK. I covered all the usual parental points ... you know ...
"Watch out for oysters, keep your sneakers on."
"Do the stingray shuffle when wading the slough between the shore and the sandspit."
"No swimming or deep wading."
"Most important, pay attention to your time. You have an hour before and after dead low tide to wander aimlessly, then you need to be walking back in with the incoming tide."
So, I stayed home Saturday night and wandered around PFHQ with Bear the Labrador while my buddy was wading through bioluminescent comb jellies and walking the sandspit under a spectacular moon while impressing the ladies with his newfound knowledge of marine life.
Oh well, I still found something cool ...
Growing next to the house is a volunteer native passionfruit vine (Maypops) that is doing exceedingly well this year.
Late Saturday evening, I stepped outside with a flashlight and my camera to see what might be attracted to that vine when the lights go down.
During the day, the passion vine was alive with bees, ants, wasps, hoppers, Gulf Fritillary butterflies, and Gulf Frit caterpillars.
Was it different at night I wondered?
Most things are.
The flashlight revealed lots of orange punked out Gulf Fritillary larvae clinging to the vine tendrils. They seemed to be just holding still and most were out on the curly tendrils rather than inside the vine munching on leaves.
But the really, really cool thing was this Robust Shieldback (Atlanticus gibbosus) eating a Gulf Fritillary caterpillar.
I always think of katydids as leaf munchers ... nor leaf muncher munchers!
It turns out, there's a whole category of predaceous katydids.
Not me, but hey,
... that is why I go out there.