Sunday, November 27, 2005

Just a nice little ladybug

Milkweed revisited

Monarch caterpillars in abundance!

This one has just shed its skin.

A milkweed bug is caught in the act of moulting.

More milkweed bugs suck the last bit of goodness out of a seed pod before the seeds fly away.

A ladybug larva eats a yellow aphid on a milkweed flower bud. On the bud stem to the left of the ladybug is another larva, possibly a lacewing.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Some super macro shots

They're not mine, unfortunately, but really cool pictures that I want to share anyway. This person has other galleries you can click in the upper left corner of the screen. Lots of great shots. Check it out: 2005_10 Photo Gallery by kaihui at

Fun for kids of all ages

Well, I haven't taken any good pictures of bugs for a while, and I''ve been meaning to update a few things, but I've been feeling lazy.

Here's a link to a fun site I found a while back.Kathy's Critters: Live Animal Presentations for Special Events

Sunday, November 13, 2005

A monster in the bushes!

The "new" beetle

There is such diversity among the insects, I know that even in familiar surroundings, like my own back yard, I have a chance to see something I've never seen before. And so I did today. I was not surprised, but delighted none the less. This little beetle, about the size of a large ladybug, was on my patio wall. I thought it's shell looked like ceramic pottery. I decided to post the pictures first, and try to identify it later.

Update: I have figured out what kind of beetle this is. Click here for details.

When I first saw the beetle, it was resting.

After taking a few pictures of it at rest, I "goosed" it to see what it would do. All of a sudden, out popped the head, antennae and legs.

It seemed to have one bum leg, but it was running all over the place.

Then I picked it up. Just like a ladybug, it climbed up my hand, spread its wings, and flew away.

Note: I really don't like seeing my hand or fingers in my close up photos, although sometimes, it's hard to avoid it. When I see my fingers up close, I feel like I'm looking at a "5-pack of pink sausages". This shot is so close, though, you (almost) can't tell it's a hand.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Spider video

Found this tonight and thought it was cool.
Putfile - Spider in air

More monarch pictures

Yes, this is the same chrysalis I've been watching for weeks now. I couldn't resist this picture of it covered with droplets of rain.

Doing what caterpillars do best.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Hatchling caterpillars, later in the day

Here's a little closer view of the caterpillars, now several hours later. They have darkened up a little bit, and you can see some little spots and even some fine hairs. If they have hair, they can't be cutworms.

Caterpillars hatching

Noticed these on my patio wall today. I don't know what kind they are. I'm guessing some kind of cutworm.

Click the picture to enlarge, then hover over the bottom right corner till you see an icon with a circle and some arrows, and if you click on that, the picture should enlarge again. You can see some of the caterpillars eating their eggshells.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Friday, November 04, 2005

If only...

At this time of year, we still have an abundance of spiders around the house, many of them large. Some are infiltrating our personal space, and even our food. I wish I could do more to ease the anxiety of the spider-phobic in my family. I even made this sign:

Sorry, guys. No guarantees. Some days, life just gives you a spider.

Eye of the beholder

OK, so what do you think is more unsightly: this big spider, or the 42 year old "cottage cheese" ceiling that it was clinging to?

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Monarch Butterflies

There were lots of monarchs at the arboretum today. I only wish I was fast enough to photograph them in flight.

I'm seeing more caterpillars, too.

A fallen wing

Oh, and this was the caterpillar that was in the "J" position last week.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Find me in this magazine!

In September, I did a Bug Safari at the arboretum. There was a photographer following us around, which they do sometimes. This guy called me the following week and said he was going to have several photos, including one of me, in this magazine. The November issue came out today, and sure enough, there I am! The article, which focuses on garden activities for children, touches only briefly on the Bug Safari, among other local programs, but all the pictures were taken there.

The article begins on page 108. The picture of me is on page 110.

I'm trying to find a better way to save this article, but the magazine website is not cooperating.
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