A new one.

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It is always fun to see a new one. Here are two views of a new and interesting looking insect which we think to be a bee but could well be a fly. It smaller than a honey bee, has long antennae,  a hairy body like a bee and interesting orange wings. This was the only one like this we have encountered and is not shown in the guide to local bees making me think it may be a bee-fly mimic.

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Yes, it is indeed fun to encounter a new species of any kind to reinforce just how wonderful the diversity of life on our planet.

 

Thanks for everyones help in identification of this insect. Looks to be a Hornet-Moth.

 

 

Like fingers

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A wonderful and unusual fungus growing like fingers from the earth along the path of  old tree decomposing lying just below the earths surface.

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There were several cluster each with a wonderful beauty that made us ponder life myriad forms. Each form with a place and each important to the whole.

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The diversity of life is natures greatest gift.

Clarks Nutcracker

A regular and constant companion on forest hikes is the Clarks’s Nutcracker. This day instead of foraging for pine nuts this nutcracker was busy feasting on crickets on a late fall afternoon. We watched as she swooped down from a tree landed in a field and quickly picked up a cricket. We were quite surprised as it had been quite cold and well below freezing yet there were insects to be found.

Clark’s are fascinating birds that each year bury tens of thousands of pine nuts. They remember the location of a large majority of the seeds which they consume during the winter. The seeds they forget then may become new trees and thus the Clarks it integral to the growth of new forests.

On the Mullen

A female Downey Head Woodpecker found the Mullen plant to her liking this morning as she spent quite a bit of time hunting and then pecking away for a meal.

She inspected the plant then with target in sight and eyes closed tight she pecked away like only a woodpecker can peck.

Then back again for another round on the beautiful Mullen plant.

Beetlemania

Not John, Paul, George and Ringo but a handsome looking group of Beetles nonetheless.

Various encounters with members of the order Coleoptera we photographed over the last couple of months.

Diverse adapted and ready for whatever is thrown their way. Beetle species number over 400,000 and a large number are probable still to be discovered.

Beetlemaina…catch it.

A dragonflies flight

Relentlessly buzzing and zooming while patrolling his small pond a dragonflies flight is something to behold.

This patch of pond must have been a treasure worth holding onto as anyone who dare flew into his view was quickly escorted away with a swift deliberate attack. As he flew head on into the camera we got a quick a cursory glance then he was gone.