Monday, July 24, 2006
This is only a guess, but perhaps this is the lesser goldfinch Carduelis psaltria .
We were out trying to get some of the boys' energy out by walking to a local park. It was stifling hot, as most people in North America know, but the bugs and birds seemed happy enough. I think they like to laugh at the whole concept of sweating.
So my buddy Wayne says, "Whenever I go to your site it's bugs and blobs." Then I realize I haven't had a good blob picture for a while.
This is Kai's blob. He was making some sort of super hero strength potion from dried and rehydrated teal tempura paint prepared in a red clay planter dish.
Friday, July 21, 2006
It was windy yesterday evening and the light was decidedly odd. It was blueish because it was dusk, but the clouds had rolled in and every detail was sharp. When I went out to find something to photograph in the odd light, I found these bees clinging to the swaying long wild grass in the back of our yard.
I'm not sure what species, but they seem to be semi-social. Why take shelter in the grass instead of the ground? They also held onto the grass primarily with their mandibles rather than their legs. I guess there's more gripping power there. The mandibles are smooth and pointy rather than edged like a sawtooth. And check out the length of those antenna!
Are they leafcutter bees that just happened to be taking shelter on the same stalk? My long suffering burning bush shrub shows signs that leaf cutter bees are around.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
While archiving my photos, I found this. It's from May 2006, a cobweb spider, relative to the black widow but smaller, brown and cuter. I wonder why I forgot about it.
Anyhow, I'm archiving because I (inevitably) ran out of disk space and because I'm preparing my computer for the trip to China. I'll be blogging and photographing like a madwoman.
We got our TA -- the invitation from the Chinese government to come and get Li Mei from the orphanage! I think we'll be leaving July 29th plus or minus a day depending on our appointment with the US Consulate in Guangzhou.
My stomach is turning flip flops and my face feels flushed. Finally having Li Mei is becoming a reality. We won't have to wait much longer.
I have so much to do. AAAGH. A ton to do. TONS to do.
Monday, July 17, 2006
I generally try to ID these myself using http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/ but I wasn't able to find my species this time.
The closest visual local I could find was Magdalena Alpine (Erebia magdalena) but it didn't seem quite right -- maybe the picture was just vague. If I hadn't seen the range of the Dingy Purplewing (Eunica monima)
was far south of us, I would have guessed that. The British Ringlet seemed close too, but that's an even longer flight. :)
Behavior-wise, it seemed to fit the brushfoot/satyr family as it rests on four legs instead of all six. It rested with wings closed while resting on pine tree bark and tried to orient its wing edges toward me to present the smallest viewing area. The eyes were darker than most, I couldn't see details of pupils. It was very active, maybe due to the heat. This was taken in the early afternoon in the Eagles Nest Wilderness near Dillon, Colorado.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Backswimmer bug, from what I've read it's family Notonectidae and wing position shows it's Hemiptera or true bug. These little bugs are interesting in that they are their own diving bells.
You can probably tell this was taken in a small aquarium (2.5 gal or 9.46 l). After I get all the land based camera equipment that I need, I promise to go out and pick up the aquatic gear.
Despite the artificial environment, I was happy to get a close picture to see how these little fellows managed some of the aquatic acrobatics. They are fast and aggressive towards other insects but real chickens when it comes to people.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
This fellow was alive and well and nice enough to rest in a predictable place every few minuites.
Rowan and I went to the local almost-stagnant water pond. There are so many damselflies and dragonflies I don't see how an adult mosquito or mosquito larva would last more than a few minutes.