Random Notebook Scribblings 6
~ October 1, 2011. I learned something interesting recently about bears (grizzlies and black) in Yellowstone- they eat up to 40,000 moths per day. Army cutworm moths migrate from the Great Plains to summer in the Rocky Mountains. At night hundreds of thousands of these moths feed on flower nectar and during the day they hide in the talus fields amongst the rocks in the upper elevations of the mountains. Bears dig them up here and feed on them, which serve as, believe it or not, a fat source much needed by them during hibernation. It is said that a single moth can provide "as much as half a calorie", meaning 40,000 moths can equal to 20,000 extra calories a day for them.
~ July 1, 2006- Camp. As the smoke from my cigar drifts from my view I see a male ruby-throated hummingbird hovering inches from the tail light on the backside of my truck. Ever so lightly it taps the red fixture with the end of its willowy beak, as if it contained nectar. It either had mistaken the red color of the plastic for a flower or a feeder. Once it realized it had been hoodwinked it zipped away and disappeared into the distance.
~ March 6, 2006- Sabine Pass, TX- Sabine Woods. A glass lizard came scurrying across the trail right in front of me. These "legless" lizards are mistaken by many as snakes. What seperates them is that it has ear openings and eyelids, both of which are not found on snakes. I tried grabbing it, but was unsuccessful probably because I was afraid of activating its survival mechanism of shedding its tail like most lizards do.
~ "Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. We abuse land because we reguard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect." Aldo Leopold
~ March 6, 2006-Sabine Pass, TX HWY 87. Found a two foot long live cottonmouth in the middle of highway 87 in Sabine Pass. It had been run over on its hind end where its entrails were revealed. I took photos of it and then moved it to a grassy area off the side of the road where it could expire in peace. What a waste- what really saddens me is the fact that someone probably went out of their way to run over it. All animals, no matter if their venomous or dangerous play a part in the scheme of things.
~ March 12, 2006-Camp. Do butterflies defend food sources? I watched as a pipevine swallowtail chased off a zebra swallowtail each time it approached the flowers of a dogwood it was feeding on.
~ March 23, 2006- Big Thicket- Turkey Creek Trail. Little Wood Satyr (Megisto cymela)- adults rarely feed at all; when they do it is usually tree sap; do not frequent flowers as other butterflies do.
~ April 24, 2006- Sabine Pass, TX- Sabine Woods. Watched a yellow-billed cuckoo snatch small green caterpillars from the leaves of a willow. It would tilt its head from side to side looking up at the limbs above from where it was perched. When a caterpillar was spotted it would shoot straight up, snatch it, and then return to its perch.