Sunday, June 28, 2009

Not bugs, but still cool

I've been neglecting this blog again, as I've been busy, mostly stressing out over other things.

We had a summer camp at the arboretum this past week, and before that was all the preparation for the camp, and on top of that I had a bug slide-show that I had to prepare for. Then there were other personal things that distracted me, and not necessarily in a good way.

Here is something that distracted me in a good way for a few minutes last week. As I walked along the north edge of the arboretum's "lake" I saw a wriggling mass of what I thought for an instant were toad tadpoles.



The instant passed when I realized they had fins, not freshly sprouted amphibian legs.



Closer inspection confirmed they were baby catfish, right down to their little moustaches! By now, nearly a week later, they may have mostly been eaten up by the birds, turtles, etc.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Reakirt's Blue


His(?) wings are in a strange position. The hindwings are pulled forward for some reason. I took this picture on a cloudy day (gotta love June Gloom), and the butterfly was very still.

Fine tune focus

I'm still getting the feel for this new camera. My success is still largely hit and miss. (That's probably why I blew out my old camera in less than 3 years, because I take so many dud pictures for every good one.)

These came out pretty good. I was able to focus on a very narrow field.

Sometimes, you're the harlequin bug,


Sometimes you're the skin.


Mantid bush, FYI


Local readers who frequent the arboretum may recognize this little patch of bushes and trees on the right-hand side of the front entrance. That low-lying, light green plant just beyond the light pole has a bunch of baby mantids in it right now. Probably Iris oratoria.


This was one of the bigger nymphs, at, perhaps L2. I noticed him because he was jiggling as he ate his fly.

Breakfast to go

A few shots of a "daddy longlegs" spider as it was schlepping its latest victim, another spider, along the wall outside my house.










Friday, June 05, 2009

Something of value to ants, apparently

Yesterday, I was clipping my fingernails out in the front yard. I noticed that ants were carrying away the clippings. (These are the ubiquitous Argentine ants.) I went in to get my camera, but when I came back out, my neighbor was walking by with his granddaughter. I was embarrassed to tell him what I was going to take a picture of, so I kept my camera in my pocket and made small-talk with the old guy. When he finally continued on his way, I turned my attention back to the ants, only to realize they had already taken the clippings away.

So today I decided to clip my toenails, and I brought my camera with me. I was not disappointed.








Jerry came home from work while I was in the middle of taking pictures of ants carrying away my toenail clippings, but I wasn't embarrassed this time. After almost 30 years of marriage, this is pretty much what he expects from me.


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