Inching Along

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Bringing a warm welcome to the start of another wintery month a Caterpillar inches along. We are inching are way though winter, and enjoying every moment of it, yet just like this caterpillar will emerge as a wonderful butterfly (or perhaps a moth) spring will be here in the blink of an eye. So get out and enjoy that snow before it’s melted and gone away.

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Happy Friday, welcome to February and have a wonderful weekend.
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Little Hunters

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One sunny afternoon we noticed these little (less than an inch in length) Bluet Damselflies  hovering and sometimes landing on the tiny flowers of a goldenrod plant. After taking a closer look and a few photos we discover why. They were hunting even smaller flies that were pollinating the flowers. The hunting forays appeared to be quite successful as they nabbed numerous meals on this one little stem.

Little hunters with a big appetite.

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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.