Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bald-faced Hornet (Dolichovespula maculata)

This a Queen Bald-face Hornet. The oueens over winter in ground litter and in the bark of trees. In the spring they build a paper nest and start a new colony.

Males are called drones.  Born from unfertilized eggs.  They don' have stings and are not aggressive.

The females can be Queens or workers.  They have stings and will attack repeatedly.  When away from the nest, they are looking for food and are non-aggressive, just don't swat at them.

Hornets catch insects to feed to the larva in the nest. One hornet may catch 1000 flies a day.  This makes them a beneficial insect.  If you find a hornet's nest at your home, leave it alone or call a professional to remove it.

Dragonflies resting on the tips of plants

From the tips of plants dragonflies darter out and catch insects on the wing.

Garden Predator

The Ambush Bug sits patiently and waits for insects to feed on.

They hold their Raptorial front legs as if they're praying for prey.

The Rare Honey Bee Sighting

The Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) is actually alien to North America, 
an import from Europe. The Native Americans called 
them " the white man's fly".

Currently the Honey Bee is experiencing Colony Collapse Disorder.
CCD may be caused by a virus introduced to North America 
by imported Australian Honey Bees.

Black Swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes)

Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus)

Sipping the salt of the Earth.

Silver-spotted Skipper(Epargyreus clarus)

Drinking the nectar of the butterfly bush

Free Your Butterfly!

This butterfly was caught in the plastic wind break of my deck. I offered it my finger and with out hesitation it grabbed hold.  I walked to where it could fly free and took these shots in the mean time.

It may be a Gray Comma (Polygonia progne), not sure, of the Family Nymphalidae, the Brush-footed Butterflies.

Red Admiral's "MayDay"

A Red Admiral Butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) was flirting about my dog-fish pond, when its wing clipped a spider web, causing it to splash down into the pond water.  A quick photo was taken and I observed that the surface pressure was to great for it to drag its self on to a violet leaf and out of the water.

Decision time, do I respond to the Red Admiral's "MayDay" call and pluck it from the inevitable or let nature take its course.I settled for compromise. I fished the butterfly out of the pond with a stick and placed it in a sunny spot to dry.

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail (Papilio glaucus)

Bumble Bee and Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly at Purple Cone Flowers

Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly drinking the nectar of a Purple Cone Flower.

Float Like A Butterfly, Sting Like A Bee
Can you find the Bumble Bee in this Photo.