Author: Naturalism in Texas (and Sometimes Other Places)

nanonaturalist: My neighbor was blessed to ha…


My neighbor was blessed to have a beehive start up in her walls, and she invited me to come watch it getting removed. The beekeeper and I chatted about bugs etc. and he asked for my advice on supporting a good backyard habitat for fireflies. Then he let me take the comb home.


May 24, 2019

Re: How to tell the males from the females! Easiest way: His eyes touch! His eyes take up almost his entire head.

All the worker bees are females, drones (males) exist only so they can mate with the queen to produce more workers. While female bees have two sets of chromosomes (they are “diploid”), male bees have only one set of chromosomes (they are “haploid,” and hatch from unfertilized eggs).

May 25, 2019

My neighbor was blessed to have a beehive star…

My neighbor was blessed to have a beehive start up in her walls, and she invited me to come watch it getting removed. The beekeeper and I chatted about bugs etc. and he asked for my advice on supporting a good backyard habitat for fireflies. Then he let me take the comb home.


May 24, 2019

I’m a foster mother to 100 baby spiders



Okay so the other day I was taking the trash out and my nail caught on a spider egg sac!

Unfortunately it split open and all the little eggs came tumbling out and luckily landed in a box.

After getting them all in a glass, I was left with several questions, no answers and guilt! But I asked in a few spider groups and got a tutorial on making a spider incubator!

Sooo! We went through a few different stages of mini Orbeez

And by mini I mean REALLY mini!

But finally we started seeing development!

See the little white dot?! That’s a wee lil baby!

Then more started showing up!

Then the day came!! Little legs started showing up!!

And then!!!

Today I just went to look and!!




They’re perfect in every way and I love my dumb spider babies. 

This is Joseph. He’s learning to walk properly. 


He’s not very good at it yet though.


He try his best. 


Holy heck!? Hello everyone!!

Oh my word I’m so happy you all love these babies as much as I do! Yes, I have my photos of all the babies that weren’t included here, they can be found on my failed phid project spider page here! The spiders, to answer a common question, are a species of “


“ Or grass spiders and are harmless if you’re not a mosquito or other tiny bug! Thank you all for so much love and support. Sorry for tacking on more to this photoset, but I thought you all would appreciate more photos!!

this is so cute I am dying

May 23, 2019



I’m a dragon who hoards LGBTQ naturalists.

Variegated Fritillary, before and after The …

Variegated Fritillary, before and after

The orange spots on the chrysalis are metallic
One day apart, chrysalis May 20, butterfly May 21, 2019

honeymushroom:a selection of moths with extrem…


a selection of moths with extremely good names. tag yourself im saucy beauty 

I couldn’t help myself, here’s more

I’m Chalky Bird Dropping

May 21, 2019

caterpillar-gifs: Mystery slug caterpillar! Wh…


Mystery slug caterpillar! Who is this?! Stay tuned! Updates will be incoming in my @nanonaturalist blog

Microscope shots magnified 20x
May 20, 2019

I investigated and our baby is:

a Yellow-shouldered Slug Moth (yet another stinging slug caterpillar!)

This dramatic fellow was hanging out in the yard for a while last month:

Here is a blurry shot next to my finger to show you how utterly massive these moths get:

truly spectacular

May 20, 2019

Reblog this with a photo of a bird that’s very…







A bird that’s so common that it’s almost not “special” to see anymore. I want to share “common” birds with other people, and show everyone that some birds that are normal to others, might be rare or beautiful to people in another part of the world who don’t get to see them! So no matter where you are in the world, go ahead and add a picture of a common bird in your area! And add it’s name as well, if you know it. 😀

I’ll start! I’m in Ohio, and we have tons of American robins here.


north carolina, and northern mockingbirds! they are everywhere, particularly where people are; parking lots, business centers, etc. they’re annoying to people because they’re loud and aggressive to other birds. but i love their minimalist markings and their amazing mimicry abilities! (plus, with a little bribery, they can easily become friends)

I’m from Stockholm, Sweden, or towards the outskirts, and we got a lot of Common/Eurasian blackbirds!

Fun fact, last year when it was really warm and dry we always had a blackbird come over whenever we were watering the garden, because he wanted a cooling shower and to grab some worms

But I’m also studying in Uppsala atm (commuting between the two cities) and there is an overabundance of rooks there, which was exciting for me since they are rare down here in Stockholm!

I don’t how common these darling angels are else where but I love them.

Mourning doves are a common sight outside where I live. Their coos are very distinct.

I’m in central California and you can’t walk outside without having a California scrub jay yell at you.

They have fuzzy gray heads when they’re fledglings

im from southeast florida and boat-tailed grackles are everywhere you look!

apparently the ones we have here have dark eyes but in other places they have light eyes?

(pic mine)


Here are my favorites. I see these either in or from my yard east of Austin, Texas

Painted Bunting (this is a male, the females are green)

Black Vulture ❤️

Crested Caracara. Large falcon, looks more like a hawk, but is a scavenger and feeds like a vulture.

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher. Obnoxious and loud. I love them. When they fly you can see their forked tails.

May 19, 2019

nanonaturalist: I had an “assignment” from an…


I had an “assignment” from an entomologist at the California Department of Agriculture to rear a particular species of slug moth (Euclea incisa, not present in California so he can’t do it himself) and document variations in caterpillars from different broods. No problem! I said.

He probably didn’t expect embryonic development updates.

The eggs of this species are completely transparent and flat, so checking in was easy and SO COOL.

Anyways these babes are one of the stinging slug caterpillars, and they don’t have prolegs (?!), check out that last gif. Mom of these ones is in the last photo. They are super tiny, microscope shots are magnified 50x.

Said Californian entomologist is a Good Dude and offered to help me write up the paper without author credit on the babes. I can’t get an entomology job without an entomology degree, but I wonder how many single-author papers I can publish to substitute for one (probably none lol).

May 17, 2019

Spiny slug baby updates

The purpose of this “experiment” is to see if there are differences in how the caterpillars look between different batches of eggs, but I’m going to go insane keeping track of that here AND on iNat, so here are a bunch of unlabeled random slug babies! Microscope shots are all magnified 20x in this batch.

Arranged from youngest to oldest. They get spinier and stingier as they grow!


Look! You can see them without the microscope now!!! And I am totally raising them in a parmesan container, they are too small to keep in anything else.

At their largest, they are about the size of a jelly bean. A… spiny jelly bean. Do not eat.

May 18, 2018










vegans who refuse to even eat backyard eggs….why

people who think its unethical to eat chicken eggs are like people who think bees should keep all their honey. they literally produce more than they need and your unwillingness to even buy local means you are doing nothing to help them, support your small farmers you heathens

I don’t usually get involved in vegan discourse but as far as honey goes they stress the hive into overproduction and regularly kill off the worker bees to get the queen to produce more. The bees they use to pollinate are trucked out to crops, they’re not the same ones producing honey. The egg thing is about how much stress it puts on chickens to produce, people who keep pet chickens usually have vets implant artificial eggs into the chicken so it’s not putting so much stress on the chicken’s body. That being said I eat honey. I don’t think we should go after people trying to prevent cruelty, we should look harder at mass farming practices and stop pointing fingers at each other.

I’m glad someone said it because I didnt know how to

OK, but do all local beekeepers stress their bees into overproduction? I understand if this is the mass production method, but is it also the backyard beekeeper method?

….that is literally not how it works at all.

You can’t ‘stress bees into overproduction’. If bees are stressed, they won’t produce. And will probably die, tbh. Or at least get sick far more easily, and then die.

The only way you get excess honey from bees is if you keep them somewhere where they’re happy and have lots of forage. Some commercial beekeepers will take the honey and feed back sugar water, which is unethical and no, backyard beekeepers like myself don’t do that. 

But you literally cannot stress bees into overproduction. Bees just. Like. They don’t have an ‘off’ switch. They gather nectar and pollen and bring it back to the hive. That’s what they do. They don’t take days off or vacations. They forage every day until they die. That’s hardwired into their behavior by millions of years of evolution. I’m not out there yelling at them to get up and get at it; they start foraging at first light and continue until dusk, every day. That’s what they do. That’s what evolution has coded into their genes and behavior.

So they will forage and store honey and pollen forever, so long as they have forage. They don’t reach a point where they go ‘oh hey we have enough to survive the winter, we can stop now.’ They just keep going.

What stresses bees is not being able to forage or not having enough forage. And that hardly leads to them making honey. The opposite, rather; they then have to survive off their stored reserves.

“The egg thing is about how much stress it puts on chickens to produce, people who keep pet chickens usually have vets implant artificial eggs into the chicken so it’s not putting so much stress on the chicken’s body.” – itsursoyboye

Chickens naturally produce eggs while they are fertile. If you implanted an artificial egg into a chicken you’d hurt it. They also don’t really have an off switch, the only time a hen doesn’t lay is when she doesn’t have everything she needs to produce the egg.

As for artificial eggs…you may see people giving chickens ceramic eggs, or something similarly shaped but that is only if a chicken is feeling like she wants to be a mom and you don’t want more chickens.

Ceramic and rubber eggs are also used when you have some arseholes chickens that have realised eggs are delicious to eat too. Making sure you collect eggs early and leave inedible bouncy/hard eggs in the nest usually teaches them not to bother…

*yet another massive sigh re: original post*

Y’all, I try to be loving and accepting of everybody and I also try to keep this blog relatively free of swearing because *handwaves* professional *more handwaves* is generally a good thing to do with diverse audience, etc.

But I’ve spoken on this general topic before and I’m going to do it again.

What the fuck gives you the right to (1) put words in my mouth (2) decide what I should/should not do with my body?

I love small farmers and I support them. I love my friends who raise backyard chickens (and I love the chickens). I have no ethical issues with eating eggs from said chickens.

But I’m not going to do it. And my reasons for doing so are none of anybody’s goddamn business.

If you weren’t around for previous rants, I eat honey, I wear leather and wool, I feed my cats meat, and all those jerkoffs going on non-sequitor pseudo-intellectual holier-than-thou monologues about synthetic fabrics and how vegans are destroying the environment via polyester need to stfu because (newsflash), almost all your clothes are synthetic blends.

I GET that it’s still acceptable to shit on vegans because of the obnoxious asswipes that call themselves vegan and police everybody else’s behavior (for the record, the peta assholes are not vegan and everybody hates them).

But remember some of those vegans you’re shitting on have been getting mercilessly bullied for what they personally chose not to eat starting 25 years ago, despite their best attempts to keep their dietary habits a secret because it’s not fun to have meat thrown at you in school when you’re a little kid with panic attacks and OCD-esque contamination issues when you touch meat 👍.

All I want to do is share my love of nature and science and bugs (INCLUDING THOSE COOL BUG SNACKS AT THAT ASIAN GROCERY, REMEMBER THOSE?????? DO YOU THINK THEY WERE VEGAN????), but wtf peeps I can’t even come to this blue hellsite without getting told that I feel a certain way and getting criticized for it??? Not cool, do better.

Vegans are not some theoretical enemy that exist off of this platform. I’m right here, I see these posts, I have had to unfollow people I would otherwise really like to stay connected to because of the rabid anti-vegan sentiment (why???), and … all of these posts, which are literally about me … are wrong.

Anyways, that’s my rant for now, I guess I should get back to posting bugs or something.

Me in 2013 attempting to liberate some backyard chickens kept under cruelly inhumane conditions, the horror

May 18, 2019