Archive for September 25th, 2009

The semester has started, and I suspect some of my students are just ornery enough to award chili peppers where they are not meritted.  That’s okay.

Out in the garden, things are buzzing:spiderhawk-on-fleabane

This Scoliid wasp (I think Scolia dubia) was incredibly eager to get from blossom to blossom, crawling rather than flying, and getting its fuzzy self completely covered in pollen along the way.  It had no concern about my holding the branch of blossoms to get this picture. In fact, I have several shots of it, some show the russet and yellow markings on the abdomen better, but this has the whole wasp and some nice shadows.

Our next contestant is a bee:

Carpenterbee-agastacheNow, a quick look at the agastache blossom and you can see that bumbles like this lady are not the ‘intended’ pollinator.  Their tongues are long, but not that long. So in this case what we see is a sneaky side attack to get at the nectar pool at the base of the flower, rather than paying any attention to the “proper” approach, which requires a hawkmoth or hummingbird [which have been around, but not when my camera was close at hand.

Another bit of insect drama I didn’t capture was one of the brown mantids lunching on a small butterfly that had not been sufficiently wary when landing amid the marigolds.

Here, instead, is a butterfly I don’t know:MysteryButterfly

And finally, here’s a shot of the asters in the rain garden:  there’s one hot pink Alma Plotchke, an off-white Big Leaf Aster, some white fleabane in the foreground, and some purple mealy sage and red sage sparkling on the left.  If the orangey-yellow shows up further back, that’s the start of the marigolds near the star magnolia.



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