Tuesday, March 31, 2009


It's kind of hard to see the ants surrounding this opening to their underground nest. I took several pictures of them running in and out, and the little stinkers were so fast that this is the only picture that had more than one ant in it! Can you find five? Click on the picture for a better view.

Cliff Swallow Nests

Do you see what looks like holes in the side of this cliff? They really aren't holes, but they are birds' nests built from mud! These nests were built by Cliff Swallows. Click on the pictures for a full screen view.

Here is some information that I found just for you about Cliff Swallows!
There are four very important things to consider if you happen to be a Cliff Swallow looking for a place to build your nest.
(1) an open habitat for foraging,
(2) a suitable surface for nest attachment beneath an overhang or ledge,
(3) a supply of mud of the proper consistency for nest building, and
(4) a body of fresh water for drinking. {Thank you UC Davis for this information}

Swallows kind of like to return to the same nest year after year, not always, but often. I think that's pretty interesting. Don't you?
Swallows feed on insects and spend a large part of each day in the air catching flies, beetles, and mosquitoes. Their long, pointed wings give them great speed and maneuverability.

Cliff swallows build mud nests attached to cliffs, bridges, buildings and other structures. This is particularly true of the cliff swallow—the swallow of San Juan Capistrano—which nests in large colonies of up to several hundred pairs. {UC Davis}

I wish I could have managed to get closer to take better pictures, but the river is really quite wide right here. I did find a site with wonderful pictures and even a little video that I'm sure you will enjoy. Look at The Birder's Report for more information.


This lizard did not want me to take his picture! Either his head or his tail, but not the whole guy.

This link will take you to a really cool site where you can view California Lizards, and see if you can identify this guy's variety for yourself!

Painted Lady Butterfly

An antenna is a sensory appendage that is attached to the head of adult insects. Antennae are used for the sense of smell and balance. Butterflies have two antennae with clubs at the end. For an even better look, click on the pictures.

Look at the butterfly's fuzzy body! Click on the picture to enlarge it for a better look!

All adult butterflies have six legs. The two forelegs of some butterfly species are tiny.
For Butterfly Activity Pages, I found this cool link!
This is a page that I especially like, for an activity sheet labeling the parts of the butterfly anatomy.
For more information about the Painted Lady Butterfly, just click on the name and it will take you to Wikipedia.