Archive for June, 2014

A Skipper and a Bee

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A dun skipper (Euphyes vestris) stopped to nectar on a purple coneflower.

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Folded wing skippers hold their hindwings out flat and angle their forewings. The dun’s wingspan measures 1  1/8 – 1  3/8 inch inches

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A small bee stopped for pollen.

Wheel Bug Nymph

I kept thinking “wheel bug” while taking pictures of this bug. Wheel bugs have a prominent semicircular crest on their thorax.

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Apparently, this one isn’t an adult yet. It was feeding on a soldier beetle.

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I took this picture in early July of 2009.

Wheel bugs have one generation a year and overwinter as eggs. One website stated that the wheel bug’s bite is usually worse than a bee sting. Both nymphs and adults should be avoided.

Unusual Leaf Miner

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More typical leaf miner “trails” look like the ones above in a catalpa leaf.

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 Obviously, this poison ivy plant stood out with such an unusual leaf miner design.

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A leaf miner is the larva of an insect that lives and develops inside a leaf. This type of mine is called a “blotch mine.” Mornings it looked like it had condensation in the mine, that wasn’t there in the evenings.

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If you look close, you can see a tiny larva.

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I was actually able to easily identify it online. It’s a poison ivy leaf miner (Cameraria guttifinitella).

The cause of the dark spots or the long crease of the upper surface remain a mystery.

Passing Evening Storm

An evening storm passed just to the northwest of us. These are some of the pictures I took in fifteen to twenty minutes before it moved on.

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About fifteen to twenty minutes of “oohing” and “aahing,” and the storm was past.

Daylilies

Since most of my recent blogs included moving subjects, I thought I’d blog a stationery one.

Daylilies

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Then I took a picture of a bud, and a jumping spider presented itself. Of the nine pictures with it in them, this was the best of the active little critter.

Crawdad

At first I expected an empty hole.

Then I expected to see the head of a kingsnake in it.

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And ended up with a crawdad staring back at me.

Growing Wings?

Now I’ve seen everything!

I was taking pictures of a beetle

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on the bark

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of the Ingram Hill Oak.

Then I looked down …

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and found wings coming out the side of the tree.

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There was no body attached or any damage to the wings.

They just looked like they were growing out the side of the tree.

Ant Tower

Strange things often get/grab my attention.

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I was just walking around the yard with Buffy one morning and stopped to look over the prairie dock situation. Apparently it spreads by underground runners. Two now grow in my sedum patch. Being a prairie plant usually means having a deep root system.

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Anyway, while looking the situation over, I spotted ant activity at the top where I cut off last year’s flower stalk.

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The remnants of the dried flower stalk stood 20 inches tall. It was over 15 feet when I cut it in the fall.

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Tiny black ants came out the holes in the top, walked about and went back down in. None went down the outside of the stalk. Their size made it difficult to see exactly what they were doing.

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I found out the next morning.  Notice all the tiny white specks on the leaf stalks — that was what the ants brought up and dropped the tiny pieces over the side as they excavated their     “ant tower.”

A Map of ……

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My first thought when I saw this rock in my yard was, “an ancient map.”

Now my imagination wanders — a map of somewhere on earth? On a twin earth? Is it a design for a future  planet? Or even for a star that’s not really a star?  Could it even be a map to another universe?

What does it look like in your imagination?

Bluet Damselflies

I know these are bluet damselflies, just not which kind. They all must have emerged last night and have mating on their mind this morning.

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The damselflies were abundant in the shrub border, which includes honeysuckle vines in places.

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The female clasp the male behind the head in tandem position.

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Mating takes place in the wheel position.

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Obviously, eating was top priority for this damselfly.