Wednesday, August 18, 2010

My Meadow

Last winter (brrrrr), Emma and I burned a small grassy area near the FFA hog pen.


We do this every year (LOOK here and here), because ... it's fun to burn stuff, it reduces the chances of a unplanned ground fire moving near the house, and it's great for maintaining some open meadow habitat here at PFHQ.

One of the wildflowers that really seems to appreciate this burning is Elephant's Foot, (Elephantopus elatus).
It thrives in the meadow created by the annual burnings. In turn, a host of insects benefit from the blossoms of the elephant's foot. They must be pretty nectarlicious, because the place at mid-day is abuzz with moths, butterflies, bees, and beetles.

My favorite butterfly, the Gulf Fritillary.



A bug's eye view of the meadow.



I am liberated when it comes to moths and butterfly ID by my simple appreciation of their architecture and beauty with no driving ambition to KNOW that bug.
(Yes, I know they are not true bugs ... calm down)
If they were fish ... then I would NEED to know who they were. As it is, I am content to marvel at them while occasionally actually learning who they are.

This one for instance is a "Really Big Butterfly".
(Yes, I know this one.)


Don't even get me started on ID's for grasshoppers.
But ... I would like to know more about that brown object on this hopper's dorsal side.
Ideas?


Not everyone is here for nectar or pollen.



Conehead?
She's a girly girl.


Not a tiger beetle, but it should be.
Just look at those great stripes.


Skipper sipper?



Katydidish nymph with really long antennae.



Yet another hopper.
Elephant's Foot grows in almost any sunny unmowed area here at PFHQ, but it is most abundant in the little meadow area that we maintain by winter burns, just south of the now idle hog pen.

If you burn it, they will come.









12 comments:

The Florida Blogger said...

I found some pretty interesting grasshoppers while I was in Africa all last year.

lisa said...

Nice pictures of the lovely bugs or not bugs!

Robert V. Sobczak said...

Bugs are so interesting, yet bring them inside the house and talk about being a disruption. Then again I guess you could say the same thing about bears or raccoons. About once a year we get a little lizard scurrying through the house. Come to think of it, it's about that time.

Miz S said...

We don't get to burn things here in the suburbs, but it sure sounds like fun. The flames would be so beautiful as they licked at my neighbor's shed! (Cue evil, maniacal laughter.)

Pablo said...

I'm pretty sure the bump on the back of that grasshopper is for its radar.

Dani said...

I'm a little worried about Mary.lol

Doug Taron said...

I can't tell whether the thing on the back of the grasshopper is a phoretic mite, a drop of liquid, or something else. The grasshopper in that picture looks like it's a differential grasshopper (Melanoplus differentialis), probably still a nymph.

The "non-tiger" beetle (heh) is a metallic woodboring beetle in the genus Acmaeodora. It looks like a yellow-marked buprestid (Acmaeodora pulchella).

The angle of the skipper photo doesn't show enough of the wings to attempt an ID. It's a fine photo.

robin andrea said...

That's a lot of bugs in one beautiful meadow, FC. A grand array of colors and species.

elpbulls said...

It will be burn time again before you know it!!! :)

Bill said...

What a wonderful variety of insects you have on display here! The insect world often goes unnoticed and certainly is under appreciated or valued with relationship to ecosystems.

Thanks for the reminder of their great importance!


Bill:www.wildramblings.com

Floridacracker said...

FLBlogger,
I bet!

Lisa,
Thanks!
Just a small sampling of the meadow patrons.

Robert,
Yeah, we get those lizards inside too.
No bears though.



Miz S,
Burning your neighbor's shed could be considered urban renewal.


Pablo,
Well, that explains everything. It's an AWACS hopper.


Dani,
She seems so nice. Let's keep an eye on her.


Doug,
Could you tell I was counting on you to drop in and 'splain things.
LOL!

Robin,
Thanks! It's so diverse compared to the region we mow around the house.


ELPyro,
Yup! Looking forward to our annual conflagration!
Love you!


Bill,
Can't live with em. Can't live without em.
Thank you for the kind words.

S N B said...

Love that beetle!