Saturday, August 28, 2010

Mammouth Wasp

Check out THIS bad girl,

hanging out on the leaves of Little Sister's beans!

A very nice person at identified it for me as a

Pelecinid Wasp

Common during the late summer in New England, males are rare
as the female doesn't require their services to reproduce.
I think they would be a welcomed visitor because
they are parasitoids that lay their eggs
directly into the grubs of the June beetle
(genus Phyllophaga) which is buried in the soil
and ruining your lawn.

Growing up to 3" long,
it certainly has a formidable appearance,
especially when you are engrossed in
making your way through the leaves
to the beans!

Check out more Camera Critters HERE!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Got Goats?

Monmouth, Maine

From this:

To this:

Makes me want to knit!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hummingbird Clearwing Moth

Imagine my delight when I was wandering around my brother-in-law's amazing flower garden while visitiing in Maine, and not one, but four, Hummingbird Clearwing Moths, of the Sphynx (or Hawk) Moth family, were enjoying lunchtime around his phlox! 

I was transfixed, spending at least an hour trying to capture at least one good photograph for my picture files!  I stepped right up to the phlox and they continued to methodically feed around the blossoms, totally undaunted by my presence.

Common in North America, the Hummingbird Clearwing (Hemaris thysbe), hovers to feed on nectar at many different flowers, including honeysuckle, beebalm, phlox, lilac and bergamot.  Its larvae feed on honeysuckle, buckbrush, wild cherry and plum.

One even came to rest on a Black-eyed Susan,
 presenting an opportunity to snap a shot of it's wings.

Have you ever come across a hornworm amongst your tomato plants?  Well, guess what!? 
When it matures, it becomes a Sphynx Moth - maybe not a Hummingbird Clearwing, but similar, and in my opinion, they are all just as beautiful and engaging to observe. Most species in the group are active at dusk, and feed much like hummingbirds, hovering in front of a flower and sipping nectar through the extended proboscis.  Most species pupate in the soil, though some form loose cocoons in the leaf layer.

Here is a quick video!  I attempted to capture my own, but to be frank with you, it was easier to find one on YouTube to share!  They are busy little fellows and difficult to follow with the camera!  I am not well practiced in the art of videoing!

Friday, August 6, 2010

If You Knew

What would you do today
if you knew beyond a doubt
that you would not fail?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Three-spot Horse Fly

Three-spot Horse Fly
(Tababus trimaculatus))

Who's that behind those Foster Grants?

This handsome fellow was lazily sunning himself on the railing of my front deck in Cape Breton, completely undaunted by my presence, unless I was sticking a camera lens in his face.  Then he'd just sigh and turn the other way.  I was being such a bother!  A good example of role reversal.

Interesting fact about horse flies -
the male drinks nectar. 
It's the female that takes blood from mammals.

        Published in 1980, my National Audubon Society        
Field Guide to Insects and Spiders in North America
lists the Three-spot Horse Fly as occurring as far north
as Massachusetts.  Here is evidence it has found it's way
further north since then! 

Just a quick click HERE will take you to more
amazing macro shots from all over the world!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Give-Away Winner

Blogging has certainly opened up a whole new world for me, both as a student of nature and as a quilter/craftsperson.  Each and every one of the bloggers that come for a visit add something special to my day.  Some of you I've gotten to know over the last few years just from our comments back and forth!  Many mornings, I can't wait to boot up my computer and visit my favorite blogs.  I have learned so very much and met so many nice folks.

During the month of July, there were collectively 83 comments left on my posts.  The random generator has selected commenter #71  as the winner of the set of 6  handcrafted Eagle cards.  Congratulations to  Walk2Write.          

And thank you, everyone, for being a little part of my life.