Paynes Prairie: The Beautiful, The Creepy and The Scary

Besides the beautiful flowers of my previous posts (here and here), we encountered some beautiful, some creepy and some scary creatures.

Butterflies

There were so many beautiful butterflies all around! Unfortunately, their agility and movement (and my lack of expertise) prevented me from capturing their variety. It seems the Mexican Silverspot (I think that’s what they are, correct me if I’m wrong please) are the only ones who like being photographed.  I’m also including a shot of the illusive Cloudless Sulfur butterfly (is it?) which fluttered it’s wings so vigorously that I could not capture the lovely yellow color of its open wings.  Then it landed, camouflaged itself as a leave, and decided that it would not fly again for me.

Dragonflies

Maybe I never paid attention before, but I was surprised to see green and blue dragonflies. In my ignorance, I though they were all black.

Spiders

Banana spiders were everywhere! While walking the Bolen Bluff Trail (see here), they were hanging on trees, layered two and three high.  At the boardwalk, you could find one every few inches.  Below you can see one which is wrapping a butterfly safely away for a later dinner. Creepy!

Alligators

Just a couple of weeks ago, there were no gators below the boardwalk. They had retreated to a nearby lake. It has been so dry that I have not seen them from this spot in years. But, once again thanks to the recent rains, they’ve returned. They are scary, but I was truly glad to see them here again, making this prairie their home as in the past.

And more…

Back at the trail, a turkey vulture landed with a thud, making the tree (and me) shake down to the ground.

Below the boardwalk, on a dry spot, this bright frog was hidden among the green brush.

And as we walked back to the car, this cricket joined us hopping along.

As always, I am grateful for your visit!

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