Category Archives: bugs

Mating swarm

  How do a lovelorn insects find a mate? There are various strategies, but one of them is to gather in a mating ball or mating swarm. Such swarms abound at this time of year, hanging over fixed references such … Continue reading

Posted in bugs | Comments Off on Mating swarm

Pipe pollination

  The Indian Pipe (Monotropa uniflora) is an interesting plant — it lacks chlorophyll. Yet, it thrives in rare locations on the forest floor where it has carved out a niche which does not require it to have access to … Continue reading

Posted in bugs, wildflowers | 2 Comments

Butterfly roving

  There are worse ways to spend a few hours than to wander amongst butterflies. Painted Lady (topside of wings) Painted Lady (underside of wing) Common Wood-Nymph Great Spangled Fritillary (in flight) Purplish Copper (feeding) Purplish Coppers in flight with … Continue reading

Posted in bugs | 1 Comment

Inflight capture

  When a Song Sparrow chases a Mayfly, the match is uneven — the bird will win. A tenth of a second later, the bug had been captured and swallowed. 

Posted in birds, bugs | 2 Comments

Galls

  I had no idea what I was looking at. The plant was the wild rose (Rosa woodsii), but what were those spiky red balls on its leaves? Adjacent clues — spider’s threads, spittlebug’s froth — turned out to be … Continue reading

Posted in bugs, wildflowers | 2 Comments

Hunting styles

  Predators have various hunting styles: some wait in ambush, others search. I watched each style yesterday. In these cases, the prey were insects. One predator was a bird; the other, a spider. The Western Tanager (this is a female) … Continue reading

Posted in birds, bugs | 1 Comment

Spring Odonata

  The Odonata season has begun. This order of carnivorous insects includes dragonflies and damselflies. These three early-season members were seen in wetlands around the Lake. Previously, I have seen a Four-spotted Skimmer Dragonfly in mid-May, but early June works. … Continue reading

Posted in bugs | Comments Off on Spring Odonata

Bombus vagans

  The Half-black Bumble Bee (Bombus vagans) is a common bumble bee of North America. Its local scarcity this spring has prompted me to wonder about it. However, I am finding it now — not in great numbers, but it … Continue reading

Posted in bugs, wildflowers | 1 Comment

Dinner and dance

  The Spotted Sandpiper is usually solitary, so when two forage together, it can prove interesting.  Two sandpipers spent their initial time together stalking and eating sandflies off the beach. Each fly was grabbed and swallowed in well under a second. “Now … Continue reading

Posted in birds, bugs | 1 Comment

Tigers mating

  When was the last time anyone watched tigers mating in the wilds of British Columbia? OK, truth in advertising. The tigers in question are beetles: Western Tiger Beetles. These beach dwellers use their great speed to chase smaller insects … Continue reading

Posted in bugs | Comments Off on Tigers mating