A Pikas Song

One of my favorite animals to inhabit the alpine tundra and one I always think of as summer turns to fall is the American Pika. Scurrying about above the tree-line diligently gathering vegetation to stock their winter larder. The Pika is adapted to live year-round in the harsh alpine environment. However tough they may be climate change poses a significant danger to the continued existence of the Pika and in the lower regions of North America have already lost up to 1/3 of their previous habitat to climate change.

It would be a sad day indeed if a hike through the alpine tundra was devoid of a pikas song.

A job well done

The other day I saw a yellow flash land in a nice cedar tree. Thinking it was an unusual insect I quickly went over to get a look. Alas, it was not a new insect but a Honey Bee and to say this one was covered in pollen might be an understatement. This little bee could hard fly with the load they had acquired. After a few minutes of rest they slowly lifted off and headed back to the hive. A job well done.

Inching along

Inching along from top of the plant down enjoying a meal along the way.

Caterpillars seemed so common in my youth but even while out and about most every day their numbers seem small. Perhaps it’s our location but maybe not. We were excited to find two species inching along on a late fall day. Both similar yet very distinct.

So mysterious and wonderful these creatures seem in a life of transformations.

Inching along until their next incarnation.

Oh Deer

Just a few family portraits of mom and the kids. We were lucky enough to have them spend the last month or two hanging around our area. A treat to sit and watch as the kids grow up they kept us active as well as much time was spent shooing them away from the garden.

One the the youngsters caught eyeing a nice patch of late-blooming flowers.

While their sibling snacks on wild sunflower seeds.

It’s hard to not smile at a face so cute but turn your back for a second and the petunias are toast.

Mantid Sunday

We typically see only a few Preying Mantis each summer either while out hiking or in our garden. Last week, while out on a hike, we saw numerous Mantids and each one matched the specific grasses they resided in. The Mantid above was in grasses that were a mix of green and brown and the Mantid was green and brown.

While the Mantid above resided in fresh green grass.

This Mantids above were right at home in a field of brown.

We even got a look at one Mantid hanging upside down.

Photographed in Denver, CO