Home Field and Swamp: Animals and Their Habitats


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February 2014

This one of the coldest Februarys ever, especially after the first week. Although spring was well on the way on Mustang Island, Texas, at the beginning of February 2012, it was barely getting going at the end of this month, almost ten degrees colder than it was inland in Corpus Christi. Genuine butterfly weather appeared on this island on 2/23, but blooming wildflowers were few and far between. On the other hand, aquatic birds and Yellow-rumped Warblers abounded.

In North Carolina, spiders, Fall Cankerworm Moths and a type of froghopper appeared during brief spells of near-60 F weather before the "polar vortex" set in towards the middle of the month.

South Texas Botanical Garden, Corpus Christi, Nueces County, TX  2/25/14

Large Milkweed Bug on Butterfly Weed        

Port Aransas Nature Preserve East, Nueces County, TX  2/25/14

Checkered White Purple Prairie Clover (Dalea purpurea) Rose Gentian (Sabatia campestris)    

Turnbull Center, Port Aransas, Nueces County, TX  2/24/14

Male Blue-winged Teal, after preening but before feathers settled back in place Young Ruddy Duck      

Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie's Pasture, Nueces County, TX  2/24/14

Bee on Plains Fleabane (Erigeron modestus) Moth on Plains Fleabane Lesser Yellowlegs Another photo of the same Lesser Yellowlegs  

The University of Texas Marine Sciences Institute, Nueces County, TX  2/23/14

Gulf Fritillary Snowy Egret Brown Pelican Great Blue Heron  

Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie's Pasture, Nueces County, TX  2/23/14

Great Southern White on Plains Fleabane Western Pygmy Blue on another Plains Fleabane (note unrolling petals) Lesser Yellowlegs  Same Lesser Yellowlegs 

Variegated Fritillary White Pelicans White Pelican Mating Hydrophilus long-legged flies    

Turnbull Center, Port Aransas, Nueces County, TX  2/22/14

Young Ruddy Duck, Turnbull Center, Port Aransas, TX, 2/22/14 Male Northern Shoveler  Wilson's Snipe (Gallinago delicata)    

Paradise Pond, Port Aransas, Nueces County, TX  2/22/14

Yellow-rumped Warbler  Another Yellow-rumped Warbler       

Mustang Island State Park, Nueces County, TX  2/22/14

Beach Evening Primrose (Oenothera drummondii)  Foam, with my reflection in several places. The good news: surprise beauty! The bad news: something oily has crept into the mix.  Royal Tern, probably  Great-tailed Grackle and Ice Plants   

Turnbull Center, Port Aransas, Nueces County, TX  2/21/14

Green-winged Teal  American Avocets  Pied-billed Grebe     

Black-necked Stilts and Green-winged Teals        

Port Aransas Nature Preserve at Charlie's Pasture, Nueces County, TX 2/21/14

Great-tailed Grackle  False Garlic  Caliche Globemallow (Sphaeralcea laxa) Texas Flax (Linum hudsonioides)  

White-tipped Black (Melanchroia chephise) on Little Blue Stem Lesser Yellowlegs flying  Lesser Yellowlegs walking  Apparently deer scat. It seems that the berries were poisonous, hence their reentry showing little digestion.   

Flaxleaf Pimpernel (Lysimachia monelli) Two Lesser Yellowlegs  Firewheel     

Port Aransas (outskirts),  Nueces County, TX  2/21/14

Wavy-lined Emerald  Female midge       

Port Aransas (outskirts), Nueces County, TX  2/20/14

Plains Fleabane (Erigeron modestus), with petals still rolled up  Phaon Crescent  Drummond Phlox (Phlox Drummondii) Toxomerus genus flower fly   

Turnbull Center, Port Aransas, Nueces County, TX 2/20/14

Green Heron Green-winged Teal Coypu (better known as Nutria in the US) White Pelicans  

Durham, NC  2/8/14

Ruby-crowned Kinglet Same Ruby-crowned Kinglet      

Third Fork Creek Trail, Durham, NC  2/7/14

Jumping spider (Hentzia mitrata) Jumping spider, species unknown Same jumping spider    

Durham, NC  2/5/14


Durham, NC  2/2/14

Red-shouldered Hawk Froghopper (Clastoptera genus). Genus ID confirmed by Vassily Belov. Spider, possibly a funnel web spider    

Durham, NC  2/1/14

Orb weaver (Araniella displicata). ID thanks to John and Jane Balaban
American Robin      

Copyright © 2014 by Dorothy E. Pugh.  All rights reserved.  Please contact for rights to use photos.