Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Why I Garden: Reason #1~ A Garden Will Always Surprise You!

( Eight-Spotted Forester ~ notice the blue patches between the white spots)
This moth ranges from Canada and Maine all the way down to Florida and eastward to Minnesota and Texas. It drinks nectar during the day, so be on the lookout.
It was a perfect weather day here in Houston, so I got home from work and dug up some unsightly weeds. It was not a glamorous garden chore, but I had to move some rocks. I moved one and there...there it was!
This most beautiful moth. I always have my camera in my pocket (advice from Carol at May Dreams Gardens...she is very wise) and I snapped a few as it was growing dark.

This is called an Eight-spotted Forester moth and you can see why. My surprise of the day was when I touched it. Instead of flying away, it shot up its wings in this warning display. It didn't budge but sat there as if to say 'back off..can't you see my dangerous coloration!"

This wonderful creature struts around with bright orange tufts of fur on its legs.

Best of all, it eats native Virginia creeper along with native Mustang grape vines.
It's no harm to have them around.  It's Latin name is Alypia octomaculata
and there are a number of species which all have black and white markings.
So my drab weedpulling event turned into a Safari.
Thanks for stopping by. David/ Tropical Texana/ Houston


  1. David,
    you are so right saying "A Garden Will Always Surprise You". In a garden is always something to explore, no matter if it's the plants or the critters. I had never seen a Forester in my garden and if I had, it might have scared me. LOL
    last year I discovered a BIG and scary looking spider in one of my palm trees. Unfortunately neither I nor my hubby are good in taking pictures. Well, at least hubby knows how to use Photoshop and so some of the not so good pictures still turn out pretty good.
    Another time, we were trying to exchange one of our wooden landscape timbers we discovered a Brown Snake, peaceful rolled up and sleeping between two timbers. Well, I am not a big fan of snakes and so I tried to take the picture while hubby tried to hold the snake up on a small branch.
    Darn, not even Photoshop could fix that picture. LOL
    Keep up posting great pictures David, It's really a big joy coming to your blog and seeing the great pictures you too and to read the posts.
    Take Care
    Paula Jo

  2. Oh wow! I love little surprises like that! I don't have a garden...mostly because I kill everything...my hubby planted an entire veggie/fruit garden last year and the only thing that survived was the watermelon. That is until he ran over them with the lawnmower....ugh anyhow, we do enjoy nature...we have tons and tons of birds all over our property. I guess they are used to us because they let us get so close to them. Its amazing! And the other day we found a tadpole the had legs and a tail! He was a great big fat one! The kids loved it! I could believe they were holding it! So wonderful!

  3. Lucky us that you had your camera with you, what a beautiful moth.

  4. What a wonderful surprise and what a striking moth!


I always appreciate your comments & questions! Happy Gardening from David/ Tropical Texana

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