Tag Archives: insect

The Motion Of A Caterpillar

I have recently come across a couple of caterpillars during my wanderings.  One of them was in the parking lot at work while another was out on a trail.  Caterpillars are strange creatures because they only have a few “legs” which are bunch up together with one other at the other end of the body.  No doubt, a specialist would be cringing right now at the inadequacy of my description.  The result is that the motion of the body is quite complex.  Video is the best way to demonstrate this so I used the phone to get some footage including when the sun angle really helped to emphasize the complexity of the movement.

Killdeer Versus The Worm

While I was down at Juanita Bay one weekend, a killdeer was hanging out on a muddy flat near me. It was busy extracting worms from the mud to snack on.  The worms were not totally onboard with this plan and they were doing their best to stay in the mud.  Some times the killdeer won the struggle and sometimes the worm did!

Butterflies Or Moths?

A bit of a Google search on the distinguishing characteristics of butterflies versus moths helped me out a bit but I don’t think it was quite as clear cut as I was hoping.  We have a fluttering insect that seems to like our lavender plants a lot.  I spent a little time one evening trying to get some shots of them at work.  They don’t stay on any one section for long so a little patience and luck is in order.  I didn’t know whether they were moths or butterflies.  I think that they might be butterflies but, if they aren’t please don’t be too harsh in the comments.

Bees On The Lavender

Nancy has been busy planting in our back yard at home and one of the plants she has gone with is a lavender plant.  Some of the plants take a while to get established and even longer to attract the wildlife but the lavender seems to be an instant hit.  It has had a steady stream of bees visiting it as well as other creatures.  Bees are the focus today.

I spent a little time lying on the ground by the plant with the macro lens fitted.  This is not necessarily an ideal choice as my macro is not a high end lens and it has pretty slow focusing motors.  The camera tries to drive it but often it can’t keep up.  However, stick with it and you can get some shots that work out.  One of the things I had not anticipated was the proboscis that the bees have.  Maybe they tuck it away when not on plants but, as they move between parts of the plant, it stays out and it is rather an intimidating looking item!

Dragonflies

When I lived in the UK, I don’t remember seeing dragonflies at all.  They may well have been there but I didn’t notice them.  Moving to the US, there were dragonflies all of the place and I was immediately fascinated by them.  Of course, over time, I got used to them being everywhere so stopped paying attention.  However, when I have visitors from the UK, they are taken with them in the same way I originally was.

When mum was here, we went down to Juanita Bay to have a look around.  It was a lot hotter than it had been on any of my previous visits and it was also popular with bugs.  I got bitten a few times which has never happened there before.  I guess the bugs meant the dragonflies were happy and we saw plenty of them.  Here are a few shots I got of them when they landed.  I have yet to get anything useful of them while flying.  They are quite tricky to track!

Foxgloves and Other Wildflowers

Just around the corner from our street is a wilder section of the road which currently has a lot of Foxgloves in bloom.  I wandered around with camera in hand to take some photos.  The bees were busy doing there thing but much patience was required because, whichever flower I decided to focus on, the bees concluded another one was what they wanted.  I spent a lot of time only for them to choose the flowers either side of mine!

The bees were not only interested in the foxgloves.  One particularly large looking bee was really going to town on another flower and I wondered whether he had had so much that he might not be able to get airborne again.  I guess rolling off the edge of the flower gained him so airspeed – enough to stagger back into the air!

Bees at Work

The Puget Sound area is currently abloom.  Everywhere you look there are flowers.  It is quite beautiful.  We haven’t seen too many hummingbirds on our feeder recently and it’s not hard to see why when they have so many places to feed right now.  We have some blooms in our front yard too and this means the bees are visiting. I decided to try and use the macro lens to get some shots of them.  My lens is a Tokina unit.  I bought it for the negative scanning process for which it worked well.  However, the focusing drive is not fantastic and it hunts a bit when I use it for things other than manual mode.  However, it is still worth a shot.  Here are a couple of bee shots from the yard.  I can’t go anywhere so I may as well shoot at home!

Caterpillar Convention

If you don’t like bugs, this post isn’t for you.  While up in the Cascades, we saw this web full of caterpillars.  I don’t know the purpose of them being together in these numbers.  Perhaps they are all recently hatched (is that the right term for a caterpillar) and have yet to go on their way or maybe there is another reason.  Either way, there were a lot of them in one place.  If you are a caterpillar predator, I wonder why this was not seen as a buffet?

Busy Bees

The rhododendrons at Meerkerk Gardens weren’t only attracting the people to visit.  It was awash with bees.  The flowers were heaven for these insects and they were on so many of the plants.  The sound of buzzing was a constant accompaniment.  It was also interesting to see the different types of bee.  Some plants had large, fuzzy bees while others had a thinner and shinier species.  Clearly, the bees are very specific about which plant is their favorite.

This Thing is Too Big

This wasp was hanging around on one of the towers when I was at Hyakuri.  It was a rather meaty looking wasp and I figured it would not be a good thing to get on the wrong side of.  Wasps have a reputation for being bad tempered things and, whether this is true or not, I was keen to avoid finding out how this one felt.  I gave it a wide berth just to be sure.  Bees may be cute and useful but wasps just seem like they are going to bring trouble.