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Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

Black Swallowtail Butterfly Print


Black Swallowtail butterfly is common in Wisconsin.

The butterfly commonly feeds on many different members of the parsley family, including parsley, carrots, dill, and parsnip. It may also feed on Common Rue.

Feeding on members of the parsley family could make this butterfly a pest for avid herb raisers if you would see heavy butterfly travel.  Although, they are not normally an issue.

The best time to look for them is from June 1 – August 1. Higher numbers are always seen during July.

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Banded Woollybear Caterpillar

Banded Woollybear Caterpillar

Banded Woollybear Caterpillar Print


The banded woollybear caterpillar – moth can be found nearly everywhere in Wisconsin. It feeds on low growing plants but is not a pest to garden and farm crops.

The caterpillar will, however, eat a little of your herbs.  Nothing much to really call it a pest, but it should be noted to rehome them if you find them hanging around your herb plants.

The caterpillar is generally found during the autumn months and doesn’t sting or bite when picked up. However, the little bristle hairs can get under your skin and cause irritation.

Some people once thought that the thickness of different bands of the bristle hair would tell how hard or cold the winter was going to be.  Turns out, that is an old wives’ tale.

The caterpillar turns into the Isabella Tiger Moth.

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0 In Insects/ Midwest Photography/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Do Flies Drink Water

Do Flies Drink Water Why? Why, didn’t I think flies drank water before this week? After a rainstorm I was out searching for raindrops on flowers in my yard but this fly captured my attention.

Do Flies Drink Water Print

Why? Why, didn’t I think flies drank water before this week? After a rainstorm, I was out searching for raindrops on flowers in my yard but this fly captured my attention.

Do Flies Drink Water Yep, They DO!
He was drinking the raindrops off my raspberry leaves in my garden boxes. Now, if you have never had the pleasure of watching a fly drink raindrops…run. Do it! Flies are not cute little furry creatures; but. man oh, life are they a blast to watch suck up drops. Whole raindrops, mind you.
 

Interested in Learning Extreme Close-up Photography?

If you want just one book that will teach you everything you need to know about Macro photography run and grab this book.

 

Close Up Photography in Nature by John and Barbara Gerlach

 

The book is extremely well written for beginner to novice.  John & Barbara present the information and terms in ways everyone can understand.  They also cover flash and focus stacking, which you will soon learn will be something you will want to play around with.

I also enjoyed the comparison of Nikon to Canon gear.

Purchase on Amazon

 

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0 In Beneficial Insects/ Gardening/ Insects/ Nikki Lynn Design - All Posts - Cook, Craft & Travel./ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly Print

The eastern tiger swallowtail (Papilio glaucus), is a species of swallowtail butterfly native to eastern North America. It is one of the most familiar butterflies in the eastern United States, where it is common in many different habitats.

 

It is found is found in the Midwest as well.  I love seeing them, but do not seem to have them around my city. I have to travel to Door County, Wisconsin and also, they tend to be more plentiful in the southern part of Wisconsin.

The butterfly flies from spring to fall, during which time it produces up to three broods.

 

Feeds On

Adults feed on the nectar of many species of flowers, mostly from those of the Apocynaceae, Asteraceae, and Fabaceae families. 


Identifying the Eastern Tiger Swallowtail 

The male is yellow with four black “tiger stripes” on each forewing (thus giving the butterfly its name).
Females may be either yellow or black.

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Wildflower in a Field

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The Eggs

The green eggs are laid one at a time on plants of the Magnoliaceae and Rosaceae families.

 

Eastern Swallow Tail Egg

Caterpillars

Young caterpillars are brown and white; older ones are green with two black, yellow, and blue eyespots on the thorax.

 

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

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Caterpillars Turn Brown Before Pupating

 

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar

The Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Caterpillar (Papilio glaucus) above is at the Fifth instar, shortly before pupating.  The caterpillar takes on different appearances as it grows, each time shedding its skin.





The Chrysalis

The chrysalis varies from a whitish color to dark brown. They always blend into their surroundings and are well hidden.  Hibernation occurs in this stage in locations with cold winter months.

 

 

Eastern Swallow Tail Chrysalis

Thank you to TheAlphaWolf for allowing by to share this picture – Attribution 2.5 Generic (CC BY 2.5)

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What Cucumber Beetles Look Like & How to Get Rid of Them Eastern Tiger Swallowtail
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Butterfly Nectar Food Recipe Common Ticks in Wisconsin
Ways to Get Rid of Aphids All About the Nuthatch

 

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0 In Insects/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Internal Clock

Internal Clock - Monarch butterfly on wildflower wildlife wall art print photography

Internal Clock

The last generation of Monarchs are busy collecting nectar in Wisconsin for their long migration to Mexico

(All my photography is fulfilled by a contracted company.  Read about this here. )


Interested in Exploring Monarchs More?

Life Cycle of the Monarch / How to Tell the Male & Female Apart

 

Less Monarchs

From now until October you will see less Monarchs in the fields and meadows.

 

 

Internal Clock?

At some point, according to an internal clock perhaps; the monarch butterflies begin to migrate.  It wasn’t until the mid-70’s that anyone knew where.

They Fly to Mexico

Then, the August 1976 cover story in National Geographic proclaimed they had found out where.  One location the butterflies migrate in 100’s of thousands is Angangueo, Mexico.

Other Posts that May Interest You:
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Silver Spotted Skipper
Wildflowers

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0 In Beneficial Insects/ Insects/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Silver Spotted Skipper

Silver Spotted Skipper Butterfly Print

The silver-spotted skipper is the largest of the skippers and is most commonly found during the months of June, July, and August in Wisconsin.

They enjoy collecting nectar in open fields of flowers.  The skipper is easy to identify.


It has a brown body, with a few white spots and an orangish yellow band through its wing.

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0 In Garden Videos/ Insects/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Monarch Caterpillar Battling Aphids Over Milkweed

One of the largest issues that Monarch caterpillar larvae battle is aphids. Aphids compete for the larvaes food source.


Additional Posts That May Interest You:

Learn How to Control Aphid Populations
How to Tell The Male & Female Monarch Butterflies Apart
Butterfly Nectar Recipe
Feeding and Attracting Butterflies
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Recycled Spoon Garden Butterfly  
Flowers That Attract Hummingbirds & Butterflies

0 In Insects/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Just Plugging Along

Just Plugging Along Snail Insect Photo

Just Plugging Along

A snail just plugging along. In order to reach a goal you have to start somewhere and slowly work toward achieving it. I love watching snails because they move so slowly, but never seem to worry about the pace they are traveling at. They always seem to be focusing their attention on the journey and not the destination. 

The image has one of my signature textures added to it.

0 In Insects/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Wisconsin Fall Monarch Migration

Wisconsin Fall Monarch Migration

The Monarch Butterflies Leave Wisconsin Soon

The days are getting shorter and the early signs of fall are setting in. Soon, the Wisconsin fall monarch migration will begin. Monarchs will make their journey to their winter homes over 6,000 miles away in South America and Mexico. Where they will sleep the winter away in comfort.

 

I have been spending plenty of time searching the open fields for fluttering butterflies.  I had heard from other photographers and gardeners in the area that the monarch population was low this year.  If you hang out near wildflower fields, you will see plenty.

 

Monarch Butterfly Photography Print - The Monarch butterflies will leave Wisconsin shortly and make the long journey to migrate to warmer weather. They will return...

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Here comes nature nerd Nikki – kicking in when writing about monarchs.  I have this geeky, nerd thing that kicks in when I talk about certain things.  Cool nature things that I actually know something about brings this out in me 🙂

Wisconsin Fall Monarch Migration

Butterfly Happily Skipping Along Purple Astors

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Sometime between the first week of September and the first week of October monarchs leave Wisconsin and start their two-month journey to their winter homes.  The time varies each year.  Scientists are not exactly sure what tells the monarchs to start their migration trip. Some state it is the Earth’s magnetic field that gives them the hint it is time to leave and the position of the sun, in relationship to the sky.

 

Monarch Butterfly Photography Print

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This is a monarch butterfly resting on a wildflower found along a woodland path that borders a wildflower field.

 

The Last Generation is the Only Monarch to Make the Flight

Most monarch butterflies only live a few weeks. But the last generation of monarchs, born in mid-August, is the migratory generation. The shorter days and cooler temperatures of autumn prevent the butterflies from maturing enough to reproduce. This allows them to live for about eight to nine months – long enough to fly south for the winter and back to Wisconsin to reproduce the following summer.

 

Was hoping to see plenty of monarchs this year but I was a little scared because in this area the monarch caterpillars had plenty of aphids to compete with for their food source, milkweed.  Everywhere I visited during late spring and summer the monarch caterpillars were battling aphids. Heavy populations of aphids.

Monarch Rescue Collection

 

This Monarch Rescue Collection Will Help To Create Habitat for Monarch Butterflies. It Will Attract Monarchs and Other Butterflies To Your Garden.

This Monarch Rescue Collection Will Help To Create Habitat for Monarch Butterflies. It Will Attract Monarchs and Other Butterflies To Your Garden. Includes non-GMO seed & e-books.

The video above is a monarch caterpillar picking off aphids so that it can eat the milkweed plant. Despite all the aphids in this area, I did find plenty of monarch butterflies this fall.

 

Fluttering From Flower to Flower

Alas, I did find the monarchs fluttering from flower to flower, stocking up on nectar to make their flight South.  August and September are my favorite months to go out and find butterflies and photograph them.  They generally sit on the flowers a little longer for me to photograph. Plus, I know just how special this generation is!  They have a long trip to complete.  They had better stock up.

 

Monarch Butterfly on Sunflower Photography Print

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A monarch butterfly soaking up the afternoon sun on a sunflower.

 

When Will the Monarchs Return to Wisconsin?

You can expect to see the Wisconsin Fall Monarch Migration butterflies return to Wisconsin in May, next spring.  They will lay their eggs and start their life cycle all over again. Nature is awesome!

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0 In Garden Pests/ Gardening/ Insects/ Midwest Photography/ Wisconsin Wildlife Photography

Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings

Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings - Common Ticks in Wisconsin

Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings

After long winters, the first thing I want to do is get out and enjoy the weather and fresh air. Heading through the long grass normally knocks off some unpleasant creepy-crawlies onto my pants. Ticks!  

 

As someone that spends a great amount of time around woods photographing wildlife and scenery, it is important to know a little something about ticks and preventing tick bites and embeddings.

 

How Many Tick Varieties are There?

Did you know there are many types of ticks? 16 varieties in Wisconsin alone, or so I was told from a retired entomologist on one of my birding outings.  Here I just thought there were a few.  Many more than I had even thought.



How do Ticks Travel?

A myth is that ticks jump. They do not. They crawl and fall as I like to tell people. When I am out walking on the trails I hear all the time watch out for flying ticks.  People must think they fly for some reason.  I can assure you unless there is some bear hiding in the woods with a stockpile of ticks and a sling slot – they do not fly.


When Are Ticks Out?

Ticks are out spring through fall, with the height months being June, July, and August in Wisconsin.  For me, it just happens to be all the months we don’t have snow on the ground.  For me, I will take little extra precautions and get out and explore anything that I can.

Common Ticks in Wisconsin


Tips For Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings

1.) Tuck your shirt into your pants and your socks over your pants. Leaving little skin exposed. If you wear light colored clothing, you can see the ticks easily.

2.) Wear repellent with DEET or Permethrin on the outside layer of your clothing.

3.) Walk in the middle of trails avoiding long grass and bushes. For people like myself, this is nearly impossible. I am an off-trail adventuring gal. So, protection and education are my friends.

4.) Check your clothing and skin before returning to your vehicle and again at home.

 



Three Very Common Ticks

1.) Wood Tick

Wood Tick Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings I Nikki Lynn Design

Another name for this tick is the American dog tick. Give you two guesses why they are called that. It is one of the most common types of ticks in Wisconsin and you guessed it, often found on dogs after hunting and frocking in the long grass.





2.) Deer Tick

Deer Tick Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings I Nikki Lynn Design

Deer ticks are known to transmit Lyme Disease. They are the smallest of the tick varieties.


3.) Lone Star Tick

Lone Star Deer Tick Preventing Tick Bites and Embeddings I Nikki Lynn Design

The female can be easily spotted by the white spot on her back.

This bugger has me a little concerned. Note the word concerned, and not feared. Reports have surfaced and been confirmed through a variety of sources that a bite from THIS variety of tick can cause an allergy to proteins. Meaning, a person could never eat animal protein in their life again.  It doesn’t happen to everyone and around me, I haven’t ever seen one in my area of Wisconsin. Scary, worth knowing about for travel purposes but the allergies are still rare at this point.


Will The Threat of Ticks Prevent Me From Enjoying the Great Outdoors?

No. Even though a person could place great fear in such a little creature, I don’t plan on leaving the woods or tall grass behind anytime soon. In the area I live, I haven’t seen a Lone star tick but in other Wisconsin counties, I have. The deer tick is my main concern around here, for Lyme Disease. Just make yourself and others aware of them and how you can protect yourselves, children, and pets.