Category Archives: bugs

April goulash

  April has been a month of sparse postings, but not one of sparse observations. This collection shows some of the sightings that did not have a posting of its own. A male Pintail Duck wanders past. The oversized bills … Continue reading

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Bombylius major

  Early most springs, I post pictures of Bombylius major, for it is only at this time that one sees this interesting fly in one’s garden. Abruptly, spring has arrived, and so has bombylius.  Although Bombylius major is a fly, … Continue reading

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Dipper smarts

  Dot: This is the second of two postings about the behaviour of a dipper, dubbed Dot, owing to a white spot on its back. Once thought to be a uniquely human characteristic, the use of tools is considered a … Continue reading

Posted in birds, bugs | 5 Comments

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

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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

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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. 

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  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

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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

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