Wednesday, April 30, 2014

On the Breakwater

On the breakwater at Queen's Surf, Waikiki, Hawaii.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Mime with chair and stuffed dog

Mime with chair and stuffed dog, Little Italy, San Diego, California.  Do you suppose a real dog would work better?  I didn't realize he was a live person until he moved!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Cattleya amesthystoglossa

Cattleya amesthystoglossa is in season.  This particular clone has particularly large, brilliant spots.  This orchid species is a native of Brazil where it grows in hot, humid conditions along the coast in Bahia, Minas Gerais and Pernambuco.

Oriental Flower Beetle

An Oriental Flower Beetle, Protaetia orientalis, caught in a dish of water in Kaneohe, Hawaii.  This rather pretty, though invasive, beetle is native to East Asia but has gained a foothold in Hawaii.  The Oriental Flower Beetle feeds on flower pollen, nectar, fermenting sap, and damaged fruit.  It likely arrived in Hawaii along with imported fruit or flowers and has since spread to multiple islands.

Cattleya schofieldiana

Cattleya schofieldiana blooming at Kawamoto Orchid Nursery.  These are natives of coastal Brazil.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Artificial Propagation of Coral

Coral propagation tank at the Waikiki Aquarium.  The Waikiki Aquarium has an ongoing coral propagation initiative to save sensitive coral species in captivity.  It appears to be quite successful so far!

Octopus Tete a Tete!

Octopus staring at its own reflection. Does it know it's only a reflection, a mere ruse?  These are shy but intelligent creatures and it may just realize that it's looking at itself!

Renanthera Kalsom 'Red Dragon'

Renanthera Kalsom 'Red Dragon' at Kawamoto Orchid Nursery.  This photo was shot just after a heavy rain.  I never tire of seeing these moderate sized Renantheras!  This wonderful, easy growing hybrid is a cross of Renantherea philippinensis and Renanthera storiei.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Tailed Jay Butterfly

The Tailed Jay, Graphium agamemnon, is a member of the swallowtail family, its native habitat extends from India, throughout Southeast Asia and parts of the Southern Pacific, down through Australia.  Its native food source is Polyantha logifolia, the false Ashoka or Asopalav Tree, which is sometimes used for a noise and wind break.

Paphiopedilum haynaldianum

Paphiopedilum haynaldianum, blooming in the sun room.  I really like this particular clone for its bright colors and wider segments (versus the one I posted previously).  Of course, I like haynaldianum in a general sense for its amazing combination of glossy hot pink, line green and polka dots combined with those deep sweeping petals.  What's not to like? This species is found in nature in the Philippines and, if treated well, grows into huge clumps.

Pleurothallis alvaroi

Pleurothallis alvaroi, a somewhat variable Columbian Pleurothallid species found near Medellin at around 6000 feet.  Reasonably sized for a Pleurothallid but diminutive, as orchid species go.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Paper Kite Butterfly, Idea leuconoe

The Paper Kite Butterfly, Idea leuconoe, is native of Southeast Asia, where the caterpillars feed on plants in the genus Parsonia.

The Great Orange Tip Butterfly

The Great Orange Tip Butterfly, Hebomoia glaucippe, is in the Pieridae family, and is native to Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia and Malaysia.  It's life span is only a bit over three months during which time it lives on the juices of rotten fruit.  Interestingly enough, it also has a toxin in its wing tips called glacontryphan-M, a peptide toxin also found in the stinger of Conus marmoreus, the marbled cone (found in tropical waters throughout the Indo-Pacific), which uses the toxin to prey on other cone shells.  In the butterfly, it is likely defensive.

The latest in Fashion Acessories, Morpho Butterflies!

Common Blue Morpho, Morpho peleides, perching on a safari hat.  Blue Morphos range from Mexico to Northern South America and Trinidad.

Morpho species, not sure which species but clearly related.  It could just be the angle that causes the color change but it certainly appears to have a different pattern from the common blue morpho.

The Starry Cracker Butterfly

This female Starry Cracker Butterfly, Hamadryas laodamia saurites, is a native of Southern Mexico through Columbia.  Shown here posing on an arm, the mystery hand model remaining anonymous.  It really, really liked his arm, crawling all up and down.  No idea why it chose him in particular.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cactus Wren Nest in Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus

Cactus Wren Nest in the middle of a Teddy Bear Cholla Cactus.  They're pretty safe there, as long as nobody gets spined...

Verdin on Palo Verde Tree

Verdin, Auriparus flaviceps, on Palo Verde tree at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.  I swear he was wagging his tail at me!

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Anna's Hummingbirds Fighting over Feeder Rights

Anna's Hummingbirds fighting over feeder rights, talons out front, in a flurry of wings and color.  They're really cute but pretty doggone feisty if you're another hummingbird.

Black-throated Gray Warbler

Black-throated Gray Warbler, Setophaga nigrescens, show here in a Palo Verde tree in Anza Borrego State Park, likely migrating through the Anza Borrego Desert to spend its Winter in Mexico.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Opuntia phaeacantha (Prickly Pear)

Opuntia phaeacantha (The Tulip Prickly Pear) with bees doing the backstroke through the pollinia, at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Orange-Crowned Warbler

Orange-Crowned Warbler, Vermivora celata, lunching on a Palo Verde tree.  The Palo Verde were blooming in clouds of crepe-paper-like, bright yellow flowers accented by their very ephemeral leaves. There are a few warblers that look pretty close to this one; however, the lighter stripe over the eye is a characteristic of the orange-crowned warbler.

Anna's Humminbird and Ocotillo

Female Anna's Hummingbird on Ocotillo.  One the drive to Anza Borrego, the desert was awash in blooming Ocotillo and red barrell cactus!  You could see the tall spiky branches covered with orange flowers, spread across the desert for miles.  It's been a really dry year so most of the wildflowers didn't come up this year but the Ocotillo, having deep roots to tap into subterranean water supplies, are blooming like clockwork.

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Anna's Hummingbird with Attitude

An Anna's Hummingbird, with serious attitude, rushing off to challenge another hummingbird which was poaching his food!

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Phalaenopsis gibbosa

Phalaenopsis gibbosa, a native of lowland, broadleaf forests in Vietnam and Laos.  This one is a miniature with flowers about the size of your fingernail on your pinkie finger.