In South Texas, we may not have a brilliant display of leaves changing from green to various shades of yellows and reds, but we do have a fine display of beautiful animals and flowering plants. Sometimes it takes a bit of looking around to find those colors but they are there, especially when you look at different insects. Butterflies in particular have an amazing range of colors and they really stand out when you take a close look.
It was very nice to see this powder blue butterfly because some years, it doesn’t even turn up in the lower Rio Grande Valley. Lately though, good amounts of rainfall have turned many of my regular haunts into excellent habitat for butterflies including the rare Blue Metalmark.
Yellow is also commonly seen on many flowers and a good variety of birds. A close look at one of those yellow flowers can reveal life and death struggles because insect predators and spiders wait on flowers to hopefully ambush bees, flies, and other bugs.
Different types of grasshoppers are another common sight.
Among the many birds that would enjoy a grasshopper meal is the Great Kiskadee, one of our South Texas specialties.
The kiskadee would probably stay away from wasps though. Although it’s a good idea to give these stinging insects a large berth, most of them are quite colorful if you take a look.
One of the animals I saw the other day was not very happy to see me and showed it by opening its mouth and showing its fangs.
I will finish this post with one of my favorite bird species from the valley. The Aplomado Falcon is one of our most handsome raptor species and shows beautiful shades of orange, white, gray, and black. There are only about 100 of this endangered species in the entire United States and soon they will probably be confined exclusively to South Texas. Small populations exist in West Texas and New Mexico, but every nest at those two places failed this past spring.