Thanks. I was stunned, myself, when I saw it.
Thanks! I'm used to seeing the White-lined Sphinx here, but this is the first Vine Sphinx I've ever seen. I wish we had more for it to nectar on, but with the drought we're in Stage 3 water restriction, so there's not much I can do.
The White-lined Sphinx is common here but I am way to far north for the Vine Sphinx. Sigh.
We're used to dry Augusts...that's not the problem...the problem is the preceding months and months of dry. In the old days (up to about 2000) May was our wettest month, and we usually had at least one good rain in June or July, sometimes both. So we came into August with deep soil water. Not this year.
Thanks for your comments about IDing things. I feel it's important for me to know what things are (and boy have I learned a lot since I got 80 acres and a digital camera!!! The ability to photograph things for later study has helped a lot, since I can't reasonably carry two shelves of books along every time I go for a walk!) And I thought others might enjoy learning, too.
When we started this project, I knew quite a few birds, mammals, and reptiles (though not all), but only maybe a dozen insects. Like everyone else, I knew a few butterflies (monarch, tiger swallowtail) and a few moths (luna moth, white-lined sphinx) and that the local paper wasps were small, black-and-yellow, but the local "mud daubers" were blue-black. But the rest of the insect world was very very general: "beetle," "true bug," "ant," "grasshopper," "dragonfly," "what-the-heck is THAT??" And I'd had invertebrate zoology (many years ago) but at that time insects didn't interest me. Finding BugGuide.net was a HUGE influence and resource. I already knew a fair number of native forbs, trees, and shrubs (thanks to a native plants course, also a long way back, but followed up on) but was weak on grasses.
I just like being able to walk out and sort of greet things, recognize them. I still have SO much to learn, which means I'll never ever be bored...like finding this new species of moth. With climate change, new things are moving into the area, too (some of which I grew up with, 400 miles south of here, and don't want, and others I'd love to see again. But you can't pick and choose...though if huisache, _Acacia farnesiana_, shows up on this place, I'm diggin' it out. It's not my favorite south Texas brushcountry native, despite its virtues.)
Thank you for continuing to share your critters. What you see is often very different from what lives around me.
I'm glad you enjoy the pictures. It's been so hot and so dry, and I've been so involved with my husband's health problems that I haven't been out photographing as much as I "should." When I get more photos up (it will probably be on the 80acresonline blog, as it's so much easier to upload images there) I'll post a notice here and on Twitter.
I was just in Bryce Canyon National Park, in Utah, and in one of the ranger presentations, they showed a slide of exactly this moth (as one of the resident park species).
Now THAT is a coincidence!
That thing's gorgeous! It looks like modern found art, like someone made a moth from found materials woven together.
Well, it sort of is, but you know what I mean!