Funny how something is an instant “known” and then, upon closer examination, can turn into an “unknown.” For example, this insect I photographed back in August while visiting the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge. Clearly a grasshopper, right?
August 20, 2021
Well, I just went down the proverbial rabbit hole in an attempt to more specifically identify the type of grasshopper. I’m admitting defeat. Apparently, there are over 100 species of grasshopper in Colorado and to my eye, the markings on their legs are quite similar.
On the other hand, this immediately “unknown” insect was quickly identified via an online search as Tetraopes texanus, otherwise known as the Milkweed Beetle. Oddly, this particular beetle is not on a milkweed (and no, I’m not even going to try to identify this plant).
On this cold, damp, gray November afternoon, I’m basking in the warm memories of that visit to the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge where keen eyes reap intriguing rewards.
Common Grackle, Jackson Lake State Park. May 27, 2021
I spent several enjoyable minutes watching another grackle stride through the vegetation, snapping at insects it’d kicked up. While it was a very efficient process, it unfortunately didn’t seem to make a dent in the insect population.
Backyard garden. August 12, 2020
When we try to pick out anything by itself,
we find it hitched to everything else in the universe. ~ John Muir
Patio bloom. July 12, 2020.
Almost missed her there
worker ant making the rounds
colorful work space
I stayed in a KOA cabin in Grand Island, Nebraska, earlier this month. The cabin was cute and cozy, but the highlight was the Barn Swallow presence.
June 4, 2020
June 4, 2020
They’d built a nest on the beam above the front porch and were very active. I was so focused on photographing this pair I didn’t realize I was getting eaten alive by mosquitoes. I shudder to think how many bites I would’ve gotten if those swallows weren’t there to catch and eat mosquitoes on the wing. I’m definitely on #TeamSwallow when it comes to biting insects.
I had poppy-envy yesterday as I walked the neighborhood. One yard was filled with happy orange poppies, bouncing in the breeze. Why hadn’t mine bloomed yet?
This morning, I looked out the window and saw two bursts of orange! And when I got closer with my camera, I saw the bees were also celebrating those cheery blooms.
Front yard. May 16, 2020.
Such a nice way to begin my weekend. Wishing everyone a blooming-good day!
I spent the majority of this day offline. In the morning, I exercised and then spent the afternoon reading through the second draft of my middle-grade novel while jotting notes to myself. After that, as some kind of misguided reward for my discipline and productivity, I went online for a peek at reality. Oh, my.
Rage. Rage. Rage.
April 27, 2020.
I quickly logged out of Twitter and went outside to calm myself. That’s when I heard a whole lot of buzzing. I grabbed my camera and patio chair, and parked next to one of our shrubs that’s flowering. As the bees buzzed and flew around my head, I achieved my calm.
I highly recommend this remedy.
Blue Mist Spirea. August 31, 2017.
We ought to do good to others as simply as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.
~ Marcus Aurelius
I’ve been trying to work on my revisions this afternoon. I’m listening to Beethoven through my earbuds in an attempt to drown out the present reality and it seems to work in short bursts. I’m focused and then . . .I’m not. So I decided to look at some photos to find something to put here, and began examining pictures of birds, flowers, waterways, and other typically calming images.
May 3, 2019. Clearwater, Florida.
Well? Right now, my heart is racing. Adrenaline is pumping and it’s as if there’s no escaping my anxiety.
Rather than try to (unsuccessfully) distract myself from these feelings, I’m going to try another approach. I’m going to sit with my anxiety. Because maybe it’s like how you’re not supposed to run when you encounter a bear: if I don’t run from my anxiety, maybe it’ll quit chasing me.
Praying mantis. Sept 8, 2016.
Two compound green eyes
one ear below on belly
wait, what did I hear?
White Admiral Butterfly. Blakeslee, PA. August 8, 2019
outshining the rocks
White Admiral Butterfly
no salute required
October 8, 2019
Fancy insect trick
walking across the window
casting two shadows.
Centennial Cone Park hike with Laura Perdew. July 10, 2019.
Flora and fauna
portrait of nature’s balance
Wings of gossamer
make acrobatic flyers
rest stops are needed.
My one last act before stepping away from the computer today is to post this photo of a boxelder bug. I didn’t realize when I photographed it this afternoon that it has red eyes. Guess what? So do I after all that computer work.
Irrigation ditch. Florida, 5.3.19.
So pretty in pink
pausing for admiration
now fly, dragon, fly.
True strength is delicate. ~ Louise Berliawsky Nevelson
Unidentified butterfly, South Fork of Cave Creek. May 15, 2019.
Ladybug on Apache Plume in backyard. March 12, 2019.
The older I get, the more I’m conscious of ways very small things can make a change in the world. Tiny little things, but the world is made up of tiny matters, isn’t it?
~ Sandra Cisneros
Soon-to-be Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly. Blakeslee, PA. August 18, 2019.
Everybody knows what a caterpillar is, and it doesn’t look anything like a butterfly.
~ Lynn Margulis
I noticed a stately beetle on the screen and went for the camera. After taking several photos, I turned and saw sleepy doggo on the bed. *click*
Not exactly a National Geographic photo safari, I admit. However, these two images offer an accurate depiction of this household. Various creatures napping, chilling, and just hanging out. I’m okay with the lack of giraffes and rampaging rhinos.
I started my day at one of my favorite places on the planet, Kapok Park. I wandered around with my camera and came upon this sign that reminded me of Zebu. I’d taken a photo of him next to that same sign when he and I visited the park a year ago.
So when I saw the sign today, I missed my son and decided to take a quick pic to send in a text. I stepped closer to the sign and focused on framing the shot. Suddenly I felt a burning, stinging sensation in my left ankle. I looked down and noticed ants crawling on me. Lots of angry, biting ants.
I’d somehow neglected to see their enormous anthill-home and stepped in it with my big shoe.
The good news is I had a lovely visit to Kapok Park where I managed to avoid molesting the alligators. The bad news is I caused considerable distress to an ant colony.
evading my camera
artsy fartsy pic
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.
It is the source of all true art and science.
~ Albert Einstein