After work, it was still relatively nice outside, so I went over to the WPA Rock Garden and duck pond for a short walk.
I came across the caterpillar of a Redhumped Caterpillar Moth on one of the Redbud Trees there. They’re considered a pest species because they can have three generations in a single year and skeletonize the leaves of a lot of different kinds of trees. There was only one that I saw, and it was big enough to start working on its chrysalis, so I don’t think it was much of a threat to the tree at this point. The caterpillars burrow underground to form their chrysalis and overwinter in it. Lots of little Skippers and some Hairstreak Butterflies around. Among the common Fiery Skippers were some darker Woodland Skippers to break up the monotony… I also got some photos of a Flame Skimmer dragonfly and a Variegated Meadowhawk . Their regular mating season is almost over now…
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While I was taking photos of the insects, there was a professional photographer taking photos of a little boy, a toddler with thick black curly hair. His mother made loud squeaking noises at him to make him laugh… and every time she did that, a homeless guy who was squatting in the park shouted at the top of his lungs, “Goddamn it! It is so noisy here! Shut Up! I’m trying to sleep! This is the noisiest place I have ever lived in!”
Someone yelled back at him, “You don’t live here, man. This is a public park. If you don’t like the noise, get out!”
Then the homeless guy started screaming like a chimpanzee – “Oooh! Ooh! Eee! Eee!” — as he gathered up all of his stuff. As he was leaving the garden area, he started yell-singing at the top of his lungs, “What do you get when you fall in love?! You get enough germs to catch pneumonia! After you do, he’ll never phone ya! I’ll never fall in love again!” He kind of mixed up the lyrics and apparently these were the only lines he knew he knew, because he repeated them over and over and over again… I could hear him even when he was halfway out to the golf course. *Sigh*
I watched some hummingbirds chase each other around the garden and I think one pair of them were Rufous Hummingbirds, the ones with the rusty coloring on them. The male never sat still long enough for me to get any decent photos of him, but I got quite a lot of the female. It seems awfully late in the year for them to be so “horny” but maybe the hurricanes and Climate Change have confused them…
There was a Green Heron running back and forth along the edges of the pond, picking off little minnows when they came up to munch on algae. I followed him around for a little while and got quite a few photos of him. I saw him catch several fish, but he always had his back to me when he did it, and I couldn’t get any good “capture” shots.
I finished off the walk taking photos of the ducks before heading back the car. On my way out of the garden I came across a male Praying Mantis, and snapped a few shots of him before I left.