I was intrigued by the Ailanthus moth because its food plant, the tree-of-heaven, didn’t seem to be nearby.  So I have a little adventure in the yard to find what it or its caterpillars might be hanging out on.  So far, no luck with that, but I am finding plenty of delightful creatures of interest instead.  I’m tempted to research further to see what else it might feed on, but I am enjoying the other finds, which I might not have seen, too much!  

Two-spotted Longhorn Bee, Melissodes bimaculata, was my first discovery in the search for the mysterious Ailanthus moth. It was a very patient subject while I photographed it and it worked over Charles's zucchini blossom.
Two-spotted Longhorn Bee, Melissodes bimaculata, was my first discovery in the search for the mysterious Ailanthus moth. I saw this busy bee in Charles’s zucchini blossom.
Could this be the home of the elusive Ailanthus webworm in this pecan tree? No evidence of life was in this web, just well-worked-over leaves.
Could this be the home of the elusive Ailanthus webworm in this pecan tree? No evidence of life was in this web, just well-worked-over leaves.
Leucauge spider waits for its breakfast and I nearly missed wearing it and its web.
Leucauge spider waits for its breakfast and I nearly missed wearing it and its web.
I love catching a glimpse of the yellow-billed cuckoo and calling it [Gandalf] stormcrow.
I love catching a glimpse of the yellow-billed cuckoo and calling it [Gandalf] stormcrow.
The upper surface of a leaf was covered in a web--could this be Ailanthus? It was certainly a nice home for this couple of spiders.
The upper surface of a leaf was covered in a web–could this be Ailanthus’s work? It was certainly a nice home for this couple of spiders.
A praying mantis! A sweet little surprise on the underside of a leaf swayed and hoped I would go away. I didn't stay long. Nice to see this critter though!
A praying mantis! A sweet little surprise on the underside of a leaf that swayed when we approached. We didn’t hang around too long, but it was good to see the critter.

What will be under a leaf next time?  Nature never disappoints!