Sights of March 2014

April 01, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

Spring has sprung. Flowers, birds, insects, and spiders are all around. For the full series of photos check out this page:

There were lots of butterflies seen during my monthly butterfly survey with Irvine Ranch Conservancy, although most were duskywing skippers and I didn't get many shots. I saw my first Bramble Hairstreak - Callophrys erplexa

I found a great example of parasitoids in my own yard. Check it out with the explanation.

For sweeping landscapes, vastness, rocks, and color you can't beat Death Valley. Scenic shots are a departure from my critter cam, but I did find pupfish spawning.

And of course there is a cat photo just for fun.

As always, I welcome corrections or ID's I am missing.


Death Valley has beautiful colors in the rocks. The vastness cannot be captured in pictures. It was very dry and barren. There was some water but it was very salty from the minerals washed down from the mountains. I was there too early for the wildflowers. Abandoned Borax Mine, Death Valley


I enjoyed watching a pair of Bushtits making a nest at the El Dorado Nature Center.  They use spiderwebs and leaves and then add downy bits of plant fluff and feathers. They would alternately, and occasionally together, enter the nest from the top with fluff in their beaks and I would watch the nest wriggle about. I also saw them at nesting Sims' Pond Biological Reserve during my bi-monthly bird survey. 

Bushtit - Psaltriparus minimus building a nestBushtit - Psaltriparus minimus building a nest


Either they are plentiful or I was just looking for them this month, but whatever the case, I saw some jumping spiders this month.  I found them at South Coast Botanical Garden, Jack Dunster Marine Reserve, and my own yard. They are always a favorite as they are some of the cutest spiders! 

Johnson jumper - Phidippus johnsoni (female)Johnson jumper - Phidippus johnsoni (female)


This Cabbage white butterfly chrysalis is a victim of parasitoids. You can see the hole where a fly larva crawled out and the smaller larvae of parasitic wasps. I added a section about it on my website. Cabbage white (Pieris rapae) pupa with hole from emerging parasitoids and parasitoid larvaeCabbage white (Pieris rapae) pupa with hole from emerging parasitoids and parasitoid larvae

What can I say, I'm a cat lover.

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