Viceroy Butterfly

My favorite butterfly! Did you know The Monarch, Queen, and Viceroy butterflies all have similar color patterns to keep predators from eating any of the three species? This is an excellent example of “Mullerian mimicry” because these species have toxic chemicals making them undesirable to predators because of the bad taste and horrible stomach pains that follows eating one. The Viceroy is found throughout most of North America, from Southern Canada into Northern Mexico and from the east to west coasts. You usually can find them in floodplains, canals, riversides, marshes, meadows, wood edges, lakeshores, deltas, and roadside ditches.. Just about anywhere!!  Unfortunately it is listed as endangered within the Okanagan and Similkameen valleys of British Columbia, Canada.

New Girl at the feeder!

At this time of year I often try to convince myself that there’s really no need to get up so early. It’s cold out there, and so warm under the blankets.  It was a little warm last night so we decided to open the window a bit. I woke up this morning to the usual chirps of the Yellow-rumped warblers that have taken over out back…all of a sudden I heard this very odd sounding gull. I got out of bed and walked to our bedroom window and checked, like I do every morning.  “OH!!! BRIAN! THERE’S A SAPSUCKER ON OUR TREE!!” I run, literally, downstairs and grab his camera and run back to take its picture. Still half asleep! oh it was so funny! I could barely hold the camera straight. I told Brian  “I hope it comes back to the feeder!”  We get up and sit to watch the weather channel with our cup of coffee…but of course I’m not watching, I’m too busy looking at the feeder, all the trees, and our little Yellow-rumped warblers foraging for food. Then, in the blink of an eye, It was back! This time Brian saw it heading straight for the feeder! Hopefully that little Yellow-bellied Sapsucker comes back ;). Oh and By the way this is a Lifer for me I’ve never seen one before!

Yellow-bellied Sapsucker

To hear the Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers call, click here and scroll down a bit

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Drive-By!

I have a really bad habit of Searching for birds while riding down the road…Especially when we pass ponds, rivers, or any type of body of water! I usually just shout out “Hey look! (even though I know Brian can’t actually look while driving) It’s a….” and he say’s “Oh! cool! Want me to go back?” Most of the time I say no and I just keep a mental note and look it up when I get home. Well, today when we were riding home from a CB Shop on Military Highway I noticed Hooded Mergansers swimming in the pond on the side of the Highway. I couldn’t believe I had looked for only a second and knew what it was. Well, he asked and I answered with YES! You know…. just to make sure I seen what I actually thought I’d saw.

Two Male & Two Female Mergansers

Butterfly Friends

In winter months I sure do miss seeing all the beautiful butterflies fluttering about on all the fresh wild flowers. I miss chasing them just to get their picture almost as if I were the nature paparazzi. It was always fun to get a butterfly used to you, and then sneak your finger in for them to catch a ride. My favorite time was down in Waterlily, NC. We keep a permanent camper on the sound. and there’s a little area down by the dock where you can ALWAYS find butterflies. This day, there was an interesting little Red Admiral. He was a little worn, but had so much personality! He followed me everywhere, watching what I was doing. Finally he landed…and said hello ;)

Good Afternoon Lady!

"Oh this is a nice shirt Crystal! By the way, you smell pretty!"

"Has anyone ever told you, you have the most beautiful eyes?"

Ta Ta!

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.”  – Nathaniel Hawthorne

Ever since last year when I decided to start doing photography, I’ve managed to capture 12 different butterflies on my finger…and get a picture of it too! I love butterflies. They make me so happy! :) hopefully this post brings a little bit of happiness your way!