Thursday, May 31, 2007
The eggs have hatched and the wrens are feeding young. We couldn't get a really good look at the chicks without disturbing them too much, but they are in there waiting to be fed.
Banded Net-wing Beetle (Calopteron reticulatum)
Food: Larvae and adults predaceous, according to some references. Others state that adults take plant juices, nectar, and larvae prey on small insects and mites under bark.
Life Cycle: Eggs laid on bark of dead or injured trees. Larvae feed on other insects under bark and pupate there. Moths, such as Lycomorpha, mimic these (apparently distasteful) beetles.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Sooty Crane Fly (Tipula fuliginosa) -- Male
The male and female sooty crane flies are appear very different. (They are sexually dimorphic.)
In fact, for many years they were thought to be different species, before someone figured out they were actually male and female of the same species.
One characteristic that clearly defines the male sooty crane fly is its characteristic asymmetrical male genitalia.
Crane Flies of Pennsylvania
Sooty Crane Fly (Tipula fuliginosa) -- Female
The female Sooty Crane Fly had a much heavier and darker body than does the male.
Crane Flies of Pennsylvania
Friday, May 25, 2007
The wren got her nest built in the birdfeeder and is now sitting on eggs -- and doesn't particularly care for having her picture taken.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
The cauliflower and broccoli are doing fine. We should be picking within a couple of weeks.
Jo got the sweet potatoes planted and covered with wire.
The new potatoes made it back up through the mulch and are still growing.
The green beans should be blooming soon.
The tomatoes are in the garden and caged. Believe it or not, a few of them are already blooming, even as small as they are.
Looks as if there's enough black snake here for a couple of good meals -- if you're into eating black snake.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Mason Wasp (Ancistrocerus catskill)
Mason Wasps construct nests of mud, or nest in burrows, cavities in twigs, or the abandoned nests of other wasps. Most provision with caterpillars. Adults are commonly seen on the ground in open areas or at flowers. This particular species usually nests in the ground. They are solitary.
University of Texas
Insects of Cedar Creek
Syrphid Fly (Toxomerus geminatus)
These small (1/4" or so) flies are sometimes called flower or hover flies and are generally considered beneficial. Adults serve as pollinators. (The one above is helping to pollinate an ox-eye daisy.) Larvae consume aphids.
Texas A&M University
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
|From Gum Tree Festival|
The second weekend in May, we were in Tupelo, Mississippi, for the Gum Tree Festival. (Click on "Gum Tree Festival" under the photo for more pix.)
|From Artfest, Springfield|
The first weekend in May we were in Springfield, Missouri, for Artfest on Walnut Street. (Click on "Artfest, Springfield" under the photo if you want to see more pictures from that trip.)
Friday, May 04, 2007
Carolina Cranesbill (Geranium carolinianum)
Some might call this variety of wild geranium a weed, and it does come close to qualifying for that description. It will grow well virtually everywhere and usually does. Fields, gardens, vacant lots and idle land are among its favorite locations. But weed or not it does have a pretty little (1/4 - 3/8 of an inch) purple flower and its seeds furnish food for quail, turkeys and doves.
Wildflowers of Western Kentucky
Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses
I've neither heard nor seen any cicadas yet, but obviously they're around. This one chose to shed its skin on an old wasps nest.
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Waved Light Fly (Pyrgota undata)
It may look like a wasp, but it isn't. It's a fly -- a good fly. Its larvae are internal parasites of adult Scarab beetle (like June bugs). The female waved light fly lays a single egg in each beetle. The larva that hatches consumes the beetle from the inside out, killing it within two weeks.
Oak Besma - Hodges#6885 (Besma quercivoraria)
Range: Found throughout eastern US/Canada.
Food: Oak, elm, poplar, willows, and white spruce.
Moth Photographers Group Photos
USGS Caterpillar Photo
Wednesday, May 02, 2007
Spiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana L.)
I'm not 100% sure of species. As Neartica says: There are a number of other species of Tradescantia in eastern North America. These species can be difficult to separate from T. virginiana.
Growing on the bluff at the base of the trail off Jerry Joe's north pasture. Also alongside the trail as you enter the woods.
See also: Missouri Plants
Hairy Phacelia (Phacelia hirsuta)
Another wildflower found down in the woods on our walk. According to Missouri Plants it should grow just about anywhere: Rocky fields and prairies, moist soils of valleys, glades, bluffs, open woods and roadsides. However, the site does warn that the flower will fade quickly in full sun.
Large Paectes - Hodges#8962 (Paectes abrostoloides)
Common name: Sweetgum destroyer.
Range: Eastern and Central United States ... wherever sweetgum trees grow.
We certainly have enough sweetgum trees around here to support a large population.
Small-eyed Sphinx - Hodges#7825 (Paonias myops)
Range: Common throughout North America.
Food: Birches, hawthorns, poplars, willows.
We were a little slow in getting our birdfeeders down for the summer. Now, I reckon we'll need to leave this one up for a while longer as a Carolina wren is in the midst of building a nest. By day's end, she had all the nesting material inside and organized better, although neatness doesn't really count when it comes to a wren's nest.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Pink-Shaded Fern Moth (Callopistria mollissima)
The caterpillars of this moth are fern eaters.
Moths of Connecticut