A few weeks ago, I noticed a Swallowtail butterfly flying frantically in my tropical garden, going back and forth. It would land on this volunteer plant that I didn’t know what it was until now. I realized that this Swallowtail was laying its eggs on this plant.
It turns out the volunteer tree is a Prickly Ash. After the egg laying, I noticed five caterpillars a few weeks later. They look like bird poop. They were happily eating each day and staying here.
I would check them daily. Then over time, I noticed one disappeared. Then the next couple of days, two more disappeared. Oops.
I’ll tell you! It gave me a happy surprise yesterday, and who doesn’t love a happy surprise? I especially love one that leads to nature observations and stories.
I was leaving work around 5 pm, as workers tend to do, and turned left out of the parking garage. That road leads between two sets of offices, but is shady and has lots of trees. It once was a lovely park-like area, and some parts of it still are.
I looked ahead after making the turn and saw something in the road. Usually, you see deer, since the herd that’s always lived in the area is still here. But, no, this looked more canine.
As I got closer, I ruled out dogs. As I got even closer, I easily ruled out coyotes by looking at the tale. It was a native gray fox! You usually don’t see them when it’s light…
Our June Chapter Meeting speaker was Marty Irwin, who had a long and successful career doing range conservation for Alcoa and other companies who performed strip mining for coal in this area. After Gary Johnson introduced him, Marty shared some pretty fascinating details with us, so I thought I’d summarize them for any who were unable to attend. (I was so busy writing that I didn’t get my usual zillions of blog photos. Oops.)
If I get any facts wrong, I apologize in advance. Also, note that his presentation wasn’t compatible with our laptop, so we all imagined what he was talking about as he went along. Thank goodness he was good at describing.
The Girl Scout Nature Program hosted by our Master Naturalist group in May was a great success, with 23 people attending. The scouts kept Lisa Milewski and Donna Lewis busy with questions.
Master Naturalists Dorothy Mayer and Pamela Neeley also participated in the program.
Everyone had refreshments and toured the Milam Wildscape and Bird and Bee Farm. They got to see newly hatched Rio Grande Turkeys. We were thrilled when the older scouts requested to create projects in the Wildscape.
After this success, we plan to offer all Milam County Girl Scout troops programs like this.
(Sorry we were a little late posting this update!)