Wednesday, January 29, 2014

No Really, It's Real. Who Knew? Oh... Maybe Everyone

I often wonder how I can be nearly 40 and unaware of things that everyone else seems to have known about for ages. Of course I've seen the cover of "The Silence of the Lambs." I've seen the creepy skull-backed moth across Clarice's mouth, but I had no idea the moth was real.
In case there is anyone else out there as clueless as myself, it's called a death's-head hawk-moth.


The death's-head hawk-moth is a rare species whose primary habitat is southern Europe and Asia. Many feel its arrival is the harbinger of bad news or even death. Eep!

I was made aware of them after seeing this tweet by Tristan Reid. I loved the look of the caterpillar and that ridiculous head. I assumed the caterpillar earned the name because it used its spiky bulbous head for combat or something. Ha! So, I had to research 'cause I can't just stay stupid.

Apparently the photographer of the above tweet is Igor Siwanowicz.

Here is an image of the adult moth. Wow!

Cause I'm an English teacher:
"Butterfly Conservation." Meet The Death's-head Hawk-moth. Butterfly Conservation: Company, 10 Oct. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.
"Death's-head Hawkmoth." Wikimedia Foundation, 3 Dec. 2013. Web. 29 Jan. 2014.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Paper Butterflies

I just love this delicate photograph. The butterfly looks like an antique pressed flower.

Visit the artist's Etsy page to see the rest of her photography.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

You Need to Know that This Exists

A panda ant! Euspinolia militaris

Apparently the panda ant is not an ant at all but a type of wasp with a nasty sting. Still, you can love from a distance.

Photo by: Dr Sarah Jensen

Follow this link for more photos and some extra info:
This Panda Ant Will BAMBOOzle You With Its True Identity

'Cause I'm an English teacher:
B, Carly. "This Panda Ant Will BAMBOOzle You With Its True Identity." The Featured Creature. Disqus, 4 Sept. 2013. Web. 23 Jan. 2014.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Love This Artist. ..and you will too.

If you've read any of my blogs, you'll know that I post most of my photos to a Deviant Art account. Based on other art I have previously "Favorited," I was referred to the super talented Nadav Bagin.
First, I was drawn to his Wonderland series which consists of sweet insect art set in magical habitats, but then I found his landscape and digital art to be every bit as fantastic and mesmerizing. Here is a short video of him discussing his art.

Go there! Look at it all. It's beautiful.

Tickle Me by AimishBoy on deviantART

You Can Appreciate a Tidy Girl the very least.

Sure, many find black widows to be less than adorable, but after many, many encounters with them in the wild, and in my garage, I have found them to be quite intriguing. They avoid human contact as much as they reasonable can. I could tell you many tales of the widows that run from me while I try to get close enough for a clear photo.

Apparently, they are also good for reducing the cicada population. These pics were taken last summer during our cicada mini-plague.


A Widow Prepares Her Lonely Supper by Cozytailmom on deviantART

A Tidy Girl by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Photos by Christie Acker. Prints available on Deviant Art.

Tummy Time

Definitely not my best shot, but it was taken through the filthy storm door. I couldn't risk opening it and scaring the luna away.
Just look at that fuzzy tummy.

actias luna

Photo by Christie Acker. Print available at Deviant Art.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Flightless Moon

Above was my attempt to create a deep, meaningful title.

My home is surrounded by walnut and hickory trees, a favorite food of the luna moth, and my porch light is a beacon. From early spring to mid-summer I can find lunas alive and clinging to my secluded brick house which is nestled against a mountain in a densely wooded lot.

I rarely find a living moth that is completely intact. Most have tears in their wings or are missing entire portions.  Often, I find only pieces of them if I don't go out and look until the afternoon.
I saw this wing on the porch and the other in the mulch by a batch of blue hostas. I'm guessing something with much larger wings ate the fuzzy center.

Still there is something poetic about that single wing. It's still beautiful.

Lovely Remains by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Photo by Christie Acker. Print available on Deviant Art.

Never Put Anything Inedible on a Plate

Soon it will be spring. I'll host a garden party!

Maybe I'll serve these... but probably not on cupcakes.

Here is a link directly to the Artfire site where you can purchase the toppers if you like.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Don't Discriminate Against Mollusks

Snails have gooey reputations and like insects they are cute, small, and plentiful.

I promise a cute surprise awaits you at the click of this link. So click it, already.

Crud! I wish I could post Pinterest pins on my blog. I'm sure there is a way, but I haven't figured it out yet.
I'm also not happy with the work around of embedding Twitter posts without images. Boo to me for not knowing stuff!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Tolype , As Fun to Say As It Is To Photograph

Toe lip ee

This handsome harry guy was photographed chillin' on my brick house. The house (mostly the porch light) is really quite a moth magnet. It is also, subsequently, a bat and blue jay magnet.
Admire this tolype velleda.

Photo by Christie Acker. Print available on Deviant Art.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

It's Not My Birthday

...but if you would like to give me a gift, I like the green one. Oh, who am I kidding? I like ALL of them! Muahahahahahaaaaaaaa

Seriously though, these are lovely.

Who says I'm hard to buy for? Easy Peasy.

Hmmm having some technical difficulties and it's way past my bedtime. I'll try to get this fixed tomorrow. In the meantime, follow this link to Sihaya Designs on Etsy.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Fascinated by the Fascinators

I saw this pic on Facebook this morning and decided to do whatever I can to eradicate arachnophobia and add a bit of spidery cheer to the world. Enjoy!

Admire these pics of jumping spiders (salticidae) wearing hats. Also, be a little jealous of their luxurious long lashes. After spending...ehmmm more than five minutes researching on the web, I was unable to find any commentary on the reason for this behavior. I am left to conclude these spiders are just awesome and have a quirky sense of fashion.

My real, mostly uneducated, theory is that this may have something to do with their vision.. and light refraction... perhaps?

'Cause I'm an English teacher...
Lu, Christina. "BuzzFeed." Weblog post. Community. N.p., 21 Apr. 2013. Web. 10 Jan. 2014.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Don't Bother to Argue...

... but their may be some who never believe you when you insist this is not a hummingbird but rather a moth that simply looks and behaves like a hummingbird.
Alas, yet another photo taken with my phone. I do have a nice camera but it's never with me when I encounter unique insects. Perhaps I'll make it a habit to carry the Nikon around all summer.

Meet the very busy snowberry clearwing moth, hemaris diffinis, otherwise known as the hummingbird moth, for obvious reasons.

Hummingbird Moth by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Photo by Christie Acker. Print available on Deviant Art

I Love Bee Butts and I Can Not Lie

I do love a good bee butt!
Honey bees are fascinating and disappearing at an alarming rate. Read up on this!
I'm thinking of starting an urban apiary. Maybe just a box or two, so I can see more of these "round things in my face" and help out these important cutie pies.

'Cause I'm an English teacher.
Sir Mix-a-lot. I Like Big Butts Lyrics. N.d. - Sir Mix-a-lot. Web. 09 Jan. 2014

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A Dinner Party Tragedy

Truly tragic tales accompany this luna moth photo. The first being that I took the picture on my phone and gave it the Instagram treatment. The resolution is not great, but I think the graininess is a fitting 90s artsy angst.
The second sadness is that I informed my house guests of the alluring luna's short life span (7 days max) after they all decided that it truly was a bug they could love.
The worst of all revelations came after our own glutonous feasting when I revealed that lunas can not eat after metamorphosis. I suspect some guests left crying. For real...

Actias Luna 

'Till My Dying Day by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Photo by Christie Acker. Print available on Deviant Art.

Giddy up

 Yes ma'am. Check out this handsome Saddleback Caterpillar just strollin' along my back deck.

Sibine stimulea

Photo by Christie Acker. Print available on Deviant Art.

A Pretty Girl

A pretty girl needs a pretty seat. She also needs a crown and a bed of flowers.

I have yet to discover a new species in my lush backyard, BUT I may have found the loveliest.
Check out this sweet crab spider on one of my fragrant lantana blooms.

I Can be Pretty Too by Cozytailmom on deviantART

Photo by Christie Acker. Print available on Deviant Art