Selected Pics
Rachel.Drummond's items tagged with badge More of Rachel Drummond's Photography at Flickr
Reload this web page for another set of photographs.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Death of a Commando

At our local mosquito paradise, we found evidence of a fierce action figure battle. Oh, the toy-manity! I apologize for those viewers with no stomach for severed, plastic, miniature limbs.

Kai took on the grim task of reclaiming the body parts from the algae encrusted abyss. No one, no part, gets left behind.

As I watched him in his gruesome endeavor, I wondered, what kind of fiend could have done such a thing? Was the goatee-sporting soldier simply defending what was right and true? Or could he have possibly deserved his fate? Was he the evil twin of a clean shaven soldier from an alternate dimension? Why was he clutching the broken cattail? What could it mean? We may never know.

We can only take from this horrible loss a newly honed awareness of the preciousness of those action figures we hold dear to our hearts. I can only hope that my own plastic treasures, Dance-of-the-Seven-Veils Xena, Cliff-Rappelling Lara Croft, and Falling-From-the-Skyscraper-While-Shooting-Upward Trinity, will never share such a fate.
Posted by Picasa

Mind Meld

Posted by Picasa

Reminders of the Past

A dragonfly perched above the shell of a dragonfly nymph.
Posted by Picasa

Go Get 'Em, Tiger

My very first tiger beetle and I found it in a completely unexpected place -- on the sidewalk outside my house. Here I am, ready to travel all the way to the Great Sand Dunes National Park to see a rare and elusive beetle and there's one skipping merrily down my sidewalk.

Kai and I were walking home from a dragonfly watching expedition at our local mosquito infested, lawn water runoff wetlands. I was pushing Jasmine in the stroller. Rowan had ridden his bike ahead and was about to miss one of the coolest bugs I'd ever seen. Something darted from the sidewalk into the adjoining lawn and I came to a dead stop. I still had my camera around my neck, but with my the telephoto lens on.

After a few seconds of staring, I realized what it was and cursed the luck that Rowan wasn't there to see it. Kai grabbed me my lens bag and I hoped it wouldn't fly away while I switched to the macro lens. The tiger was wary and a very fast runner, but didn't fly. It may have had a damaged flying wing; one of its elytra (would the singular be elytrum?) was broken at the rear tip.

I thought about catching it, but we have a gazillion pets right now, so I let that thought skitter away. Instead I kept clicking away at the camera shutter and the beetle held still, perhaps sensing that I was insane but mostly harmless. Kai grew bored and Jasmine restless, so I finally decided to pack it up and get home.

I'm such a geek, I've been looking at these pictures since I got home. Check out those chompers!

For those of you Latin fans, the order is Coleoptera (beetles), it's in the subfamily Cicindelinae of the family of ground beetles, Carabidae. I think it may be related to the six-spotted sexguttata species, but I'm still awaiting word from the good folks at the Bug Guide.

Post Script:
The word is that it's a sidewalk tiger beetle or Cicindela punctulata. For more info see:

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mercurial Dragon

I was trying to describe to my dad the silvery coloration that alternates with the red bands. I'm reminded of a 1963 split window Corvette.
Posted by Picasa

Colorado Walking Stick

This is an insect I don't often see around here and the largest I've seen of the local, flightless, stink-less and charming fellas. In other areas of the country they can squirt tear gas-like liquid from their rear ends. In other areas of the world they have wings and can be much larger.

I found it at the local bug hangout in Trinidad State Park, that is to say one of the outer bathroom walls. It has some very interesting camouflage markings.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Lucky Spider

This spider along with many, many relatives, was hanging out at night by the outside lights of the Mansion on Oak Hill in Indianapolis. That was the site of my niece's wedding. Very fun, but when Rowan grew tired of dancing he went looking for bugs and showed these spiders to me on our way back to the car.

This was taken with just the macro lens and the built-in flash. I'm amazed at how well it came out for no special set up (and three glasses of wine).
Posted by Picasa