Category Archives: God’s Creatures

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Dragonfly

Taken at Boone Hall Plantation in SC.

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5000 species of dragonflies and damselflies
Life span is usually a month.
Speed 20-40mph, which is why you can’t catch one unless it is dead.
Dinner is mostly midges and mosquitoes. Yum.

Classification:

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:  Arthropoda
  • Class:  Insecta , this means we can pin one to our insect board
  • Order:  Odonata

Lepidoptera

Enjoy the beauties!  Taken in Charleston, SC at the Boone Hall Plantation.

Check out what I found.  Florida Museum of Natural History – Florida Wildflowers and Butterflies

Butterfly

I don’t know what the above one is.  Anyone know?

Gulf Fritillary - Female

Gulf Fritillary – very common butterfly in Florida.

Julia - Female

Julia – Female   Found this one on the website I linked to above.  You can tell it is a female by the brown stripe on the wings.

Monarch (2) Monarch

Monarchs

Zebra Longwing

Zebra Longwing – Florida state butterfly.

 

Green Butt Spider

I don’t remember where I saw this or when I actually took the photo.  I do remember thinking it was interesting, since it has a green abdomen.

A spider!

A spider!

This male spider is called a tropical orb weaver.  It comes in many shapes and sizes.  😀  Sometimes they have the green spot on the back and sometimes not.  Same goes for the two little black dots you see at the rear.

They like open woodlands.  During the day they like to hang around under leaves folded together with silk, like the one in this picture.  Their bite is not harmful to humans.

Kingdom Animalia 

Phylum Arthropoda 

Subphylum Chelicerata

Class Arachnida

Order Araneae

Pine Woods Tree Frog

 

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This little fellow as found on the back of Sir Husband’s truck.  He was just hanging around and enjoying the limelight.

I have not seen one of these before.

He is grayish color with some green.  He isn’t smooth like the Green Treefrog and his toe pads are much larger than the Green Treefrog.  I think he is rather cute.

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Pine Woods Tree Frog climb high in trees, preferring pine trees.  Good thing they like to climb, because it could have ended up like this  or this.

Size about 1.5 inches.  Diet insects.

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:  Chordata
  • Class:  Amphibia
  • Order:  Anura
  • Family:  Hylidae
  • Genus:  Hyla
  • Species:  H. Femoralis

Blue Heron

Blue Heron

Sited at Washington Oaks State Park

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We have been to Washington Oaks State Park many times, but this is the first time we have seen a Blue Heron up close and personal.  So cool. He let me take as many pictures as I wanted.  When he got ready he …

just glided on down to a rock.

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Beautiful, isn’t he?

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Blue Heron is the largest of Herons.

Wingspan:  5 1/2 to 6 1/2 feet.

Cruise up to 30 mph.

Life span:  15 years

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:  Chordata
  • Class:  Aves
  • Order:  Pelecaniformes
  • Family:  Ardeidae
  • Genus: Ardea
  • Species:   A. herodias

Blue Heron Web Cam

More information go to All About Birds

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

On July 4th, while packing up our picnic, the kids heard a PLOP.  They turned around an noticed this little guy on the ground.  He had fallen out a large pine tree.

Mexican Free-tailed Bat

He only opened one wing, so we don’t know if he was injured.  He crawled around a bit trying to find some shade to hide.  

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We knew he was unhappy where he was, so we helped him back to the tree.

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You can barely see him below.  Hopefully, he survived. 

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After our hike, we found him about two feet higher than where we left him.  

  • Mexican Free-Tailed Bat
  • Medium Sized Bat – wingspan is between 12-14 in, weight is between 0.4-0.5 oz.
  • Life span – about 18 years
  • They eat a whole lotta bugs.  

Bracken Cave near San Antonio, Texas is home to over 20,000,000 Mexican Free-Tailed Bats.  You can get more information at Batcon.org.  There is even a video!

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:  Chordata
  • Class:  Mammalia
  • Order:  Chiroptera
  • Family:  Molossidae
  • Genus:  Tadarida
  • Species:  T. brasiliensis

Bats are the only flying mammals.  

Rejoice with me, people!

While out hunting for insects, I turn on the back porch light to attrack moths.  Within a few minutes I heard this rustling.

Yay, says me, sounds like a huge moth!  I take a look in the light area and notice it wasn’t a moth.  It was a bat!  A bat, people!

I have always wanted a bat house and now I have one on my own porch!  It was not happy that the light was on, so I turned it off and promptly took pictures.  Look at this cutie.

Bat 1  I do not know what kind it is.  It’s small.   After a while it left, but I am hoping it will return.  I am not sure what to do if it does return.  I don’t think it is wise for it to live in our lamp.

bat 2

Anyone know what kind this is?

Carolina Wren Babies

Wrens will build their nests anywhere. They’re not picky! I have found nests in a planter right next to our front door. I got to watch the babies leave the nest while the mama called to them. Last month William opened our propane compartment on Phil and out fell a wren’s nest. That was sad, because the eggs broke.

The nest you see below was built in William’s work bucket on the side porch. There are three or four babies in there.

 

This nest was just outside a window, so we were blessed to see the mom and dad feed the babies.

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:  Chordata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order:  Passeriformes
  • Family:  Troglodytida

South Carolina State Bird

Diet:  insects – yummy!

For more information on these birds and to hear their sound go to The Cornell Lab

Was tired of the previous post, so….

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Southern Black Racer

This one was about 36″

Diet:  Lizards, snakes, frogs, insects, and rodents

Non-venomous 

  • Kingdom:  Animalia
  • Phylum:  Chordata
  • Subphylum:  Vertebrata
  • Class:  Reptilia
  • Order:  Squamata

I’ve done it again.

It is that time of year when the Biology class begins dissecting.  It’s what the Biology class lives for.  Well, some anyway.  I love to see their excitement and discuss.  It’s what I live for.

The last two years I have made the awesome Dissected Frog Cake.  This year I did something different.  I made the Dissected Perch Cake!  Oh yeah, my students are going to look at me with awe.

This cake was made just as the frog, with Rice Krispie insides and covered in Fondant.  I get the Fondant at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon.  Don’t want to pay full price, because everyone throws it away.

So here is the covered photo.

I thought about having the students dissect the cake, but was afraid the fondant will  be stuck to the guts inside. So, decided to go ahead and peel back the skin.

The black wiggly thing in the mouth is suppose to be a worm on a hook.  It is obvious I lack in the cake decorating department.

Now I know all of you are wondering just what is in a Perch. Well, here is a labeled picture for you.

Just in case you don’t know already, a Perch does not have these far-out colors for guts.  It is completely consumable.

Make one for your class and report back to me.  🙂