Monday, December 31, 2007

Last one this year

This was on my front door this morning. No more front porch moths till "next year."
Jerry did something to my camera. I'm not really sure what, but I think it made it easier to focus up close. Too bad it's harder to find many bugs at this time of year.

One thing there is lots of is monarch caterpillars at the arboretum. I will be trying to take some interesting close up shots of them this season.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Not to be overlooked

I found these miscellaneous bug pictures while going through and trying to clean up my photo files. Not exactly a blog catchup, but more of a "treasure in the junk-drawer" moment.

Mystery larva from Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens

Nice pollen bags.

Dogpile of milkweed bugs.

Spider's lunch time.

I picked out a bunch of other miscellaneous, mostly plant-related pictures and put them on my Flickr page, if you want to see them.

Low tide and long shadows

On Sunday, we went to the beach. There was a minus tide. Wandering along the shore during a minus tide ranks right up there with bug-hunting as one of my favorite activities. Unfortunately, I'm just not limber and agile enough these days to climb around on the rocks like I would have liked to. So mostly I just walked along the nice, flat sandy shore.

I mainly wanted to find some nice shells and rocks, which I have posted here. I wasn't really looking for bugs, but I found some anyway.

I noticed this butterfly at the bottom of the trail. It was incredibly tiny. I later found out it's a Westerm Pygmy Blue, the smallest butterfly in North America.

This small tidepool snail had a nice pinkish-purplish crust of some sort.

I found this bee struggling desperately at the edge of the surf. I rescued her, but quickly realized there was little chance of her surviving the chilly night to come, much less returning to her hive, so I euthanized her quickly under my shoe.

This ladybug stood out against the drab gray shrub. It looks like there might have been something edible, like a scale or something, on the plant.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Merry Christmas, Cap'n

Yes, I still have my snail. He's been doing really well. His shell continues to grow and develop its pattern, even in what were once the lumpy places. Not only that, but I think he's about double the size he was when I first found him.

This little area is the only part that is still bumpy and "unfinished"

Here he is cruising around on my lawn. I had the idea of releasing him on Christmas Day, but I'm not really sure where I want to let him go yet.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Incidental fly

I was taking pictures of the new leaves sprouting on this ocotillo plant, and didn't even notice this little fly until after I took the picture.

Abandoned beehive

About a year ago, I first saw this beehive. Sadly the bees left, sometime in summer I think. The hive was nearly invisible beneath the canopy of leaves. Now that the leaves have fallen, the condition of the hive has been revealed.

The reprimand

The monarch caterpillar population at the arboretum is growing this month. There's still a pretty good amount of milkweed leaves for them, but sometimes there will be 2 or more in very close proximity. I made a little video clip of a larger caterpillar "picking" on a smaller one who's perched on a leaf the bigger one is trying to eat.

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