A hoverfly that I captured several years ago.
"Once a pond a time…"
A hoverfly that I captured several years ago.
My previous Nature Knowledge post, from today, inspired me to look through my photos of caterpillars. I made another great find that I will probably keep next time that I encounter one. Above, is a Giant Leopard Moth caterpillar. This prickly fellow is not poisonous like the Hickory Tussock Moth caterpillar, although he looks formidable. In fact, Giant Leopard Moths feed on broad leaf plants, rather than, decimating trees. I had found this caterpillar at my camp doorstep in New York State. I’m sorry, now, that I did not identify it sooner. It must have been coming out from an eave where it had wintered.
What a lovely moth to behold! (Personally, I prefer moths to butterflies but they are nocturnal and are harder to find.) The photo specimen above, was an actual successful rearing of a caterpillar to adult.
Here’s another borrowed photo:
My caterpillar photo was from last Spring. Hey, I’ve got some searching to do this weekend! The kids may enjoy raising one, almost as much as, I. 😉
Red- tailed bumblebees are delightful to watch in my garden. They are easy to spot, with their bright patch of orange, as they buzz around nectar rich flowers. Colonies, of these bees, number around 200 members. Aren’t they pretty?
The queens come out of hibernation in early Spring. Queenie lays eggs of worker bees right away. The workers build nests in stone crevasses or , sometimes, in old birds nests. They tend the eggs too. A while later, the male bees hatch to mate with females and carry on the nectar collecting business, which is their source of food. In the Fall, all the males (including worker bees) and the old queen die…the new queens, hatched that year, hibernate in order to start the cycle again in the spring.
These bumblebees are common in the United States and Europe. In recent times, their numbers have diminished as their habitat has been reduced and pesticides have killed some of them off. You can make a difference in their population numbers by keeping nectar rich flowers in your gardens.
Last season, I noticed an alarmingly reduced number of honeybees and red-tailed bumblebees. Part of last year’s dilemma was, in my opinion, the unusually warm and snow-free winter which affected the natural timing of tree flowers with bee hatching. Whatever the reason, my fruit trees bore far fewer fruit due to the absence of pollinators. I have high hopes for this spring to come.
As a footnote, I have never been stung by a bumblebee. One of my favorite childhood activities was catching them in jars, then releasing them. Mom warned that I was asking for stings, yet they never did. The photos above were taken by practically placing my camera lens on the subjects…still no stings. I don’t recommend antagonizing bees but would hope that people avoid them rather than kill them. They are very important to farmers and our produce!
There a few tips that you can keep in mind in order to quickly distinguish a moth from a butterfly. Although they belong to the same larger group of insects, there are some rules (with, of course, some exceptions) to follow. Directly below there is a Luna moth. Notice the “feathery” antennae. Moth feelers lack a club-like tip too.
Butterflies have more narrow Q-tip-shaped antennae . See the Great Spangled Fritillary butterfly below for example.
Another tip : If you see the insect in the bright sun of daytime, it is most likely a butterfly. Moths prefer the shadows and night.
Moths are usually drab in color while butterflies have bright colors. There are exceptions though.
Butterflies most often have a slender body with moths generally looking stout and furry.
When moths are at rest, they usually lay their wings flat along the surface of their post. Butterflies usually keep their wings upright and perpendicular to their spot. (see photos)
Butterflies have free hanging translucent “containers” spun from their caterpillars called chrysalises. Moth caterpillars spin cocoons of soft silk for their metamorphism.
These fascinating creatures share their ability to turn from a worm-like caterpillar into a graceful flying wonder. Hope this post adds to your pleasure when viewing Nature.
There are many myths and proverbs about this delicate insect. They exist all over the world and are arguably the true “mankind’s best friend”. They eat mosquito larvae and adults in huge quantities.
http://www.dragonfly-site.com (Paste this link into your browser for some fun information on those myths.)
The dragonfly spends most of its life as a nymph. They hatch from eggs in ponds and eat like crazy. These nymphs resemble underwater “wormy bugs”. A dragonfly can eat amounts equal to its own weight in 30 minutes. They simply eat anything that moves.
As beautiful and delicate as they are, these little “buggers” are fierce predators. Even as adults, few insects can evade them. I just read on an informational site that from fossil records there were some huge varieties “back in the day”. If their temperament and appetite corresponded with our dragonflies, and they lived today, our cats and small dogs might well be disappearing.
They are cousins of the tinier damselflies. Damselflies can easily be distinguished from dragonflies by the way they hold their wings along their “needle-like” bodies when at rest. They were referred to as “sewing needles” when I was a kid and we’d run from them in fear of our mouths being sewn shut!
I hadn’t realized that photographing Nature was an endurance sport until I chased these guys around to try for a capture. Next time I see either of the above insects, I’m going to say,”Thanks and keep up the mosquito dining!”
…and to mosquitoes, “Sucks to be you when dragonflies are in town!”
I believe this is a variety of camel cricket. The ones that I have found in my online search, have a humped-up back…this does not. I’ve found them beneath tarps in moist environments at our camp. The largest ones have bodies almost as long as my thumb and an overall length(tip of feelers to tail) of about 4 inches.
If anyone knows more about this specific cricket, please add links and information.
Camel Crickets prefer dark damp areas. I personally like their “woody” appearance and texture. They can become pests to homeowners but, in the woods, are just a small marvel.
Their eyesight is poor due to their preference for dark places. I suspect this is what gave me the opportunity to photograph this guy without a quick get-away.
Mensen maken de samenleving en nemen daarin een positie in. Deze website geeft toegang tot een diversiteit aan artikelen die gaan over 'samenleven', belicht vanuit verschillende perspectieven. De artikelen hebben gemeen dat er gezocht wordt naar wat 'mensen bindt, in plaats van wat hen scheidt'.
Getting lost is not a waste of time
Handcrafted Soap, Bee Keeping, Farming and More
.... my journey to a healthy life, making new memories and so much more
quirks, quips & photo clicks
Whenever you feel unloved, unimportant, or insecure - remember to whom you belong.
Writing prompts for writing practice!
Independent Publisher of Poetry and Prose
Enjoy every moment of LIFE !!
Educación y cultura general.
Horror, Fantasy and Science Fiction Author
5 minute musings
Words from the poemetry unit
Reise, opplevelse, glede, mat og nye venner
Lets Go Nuts Together
I love to write about everything. Writing relaxes me.
Accountant | Customer Services | Admin Support
Engaging in some lyrical athletics whilst painting pictures with words and pounding the pavement. I run; blog; write poetry; chase after my kids & drink coffee.
Your travel guide to the fantastic unknown places around the world.