Category Archives: Insects

Crawling or Flying

Most things crawl before they fly, if they fly at all.  The wood termites shown in the photo have flown into my pool, chewed their wings off, and are treading water or floating on their cast off wings to get to the side of the pool so they can crawl up to my wooden beams and make a meal of them.  The golden orb spider spins zigzag designs in her web as she crawls to its center.  I haven’t been able to determine why. The orange butterflies were on a lifejacket on a boat on the Amazon.  Attracted by the bright color, they were no doubt disappointed by the taste.  The tiny green moth flew down to my computer screen one night and crawled around a bit before it settled on a nice spot. The hummingbird moth larvae are fascinating in their various mutations before turning into moths. I never have been able to figure out what the crystal shapes are growing out of the one caterpillar. 

Most of my bird watching takes place at the beach, thus the photos of pelicans and gulls. Except for the photo of the walking stick on the cap and the hand-held giant leaf hopper, which were both taken in  the Amazon rainforest, all of the other photos  were taken at my house above Lake Chapala in Mexico.

CLICK ON FIRST PHOTO TO ENLARGE ALL AND SEE GALLERY

 

Go HERE to join the photo prompt and post your photos of crawling or flying.

Web Mavens

I have seen the most unusual spiders since moving to Mexico 15 years ago.  The one little black and white triangular spider, I’ve spotted at least 3 different times in the past 15 years and they always have an uneven number of legs.  Must run in the family as it can’t be possible that the same spider has lived for 15 years.  The Golden Orb Weaver spider is my favorite.  It weaves the most interesting web.  This one remained in this spot where I saw it every day on the way to my car for over a month.

https://jennifernicholewells.com/2016/10/15/jnws-halloween-challenge-spiderweb/

Cosmos: Cee’s Flower of the Day, Sept. 16, 2016

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Not the same flower as a few days ago, but possibly the same wasp.

Don’t miss this flower on Cee’s blog:  Beautiful and Weird!

Beeing There

This beach companion was fascinated by my Diet Coke. Pedro says this is proof that they actually do slip sugar into diet drinks here.

(Click once on first picture to enlarge photos, then click on right arrow to advance to next picture.  When finished, click on X at top left of the page to return to this page.)

He ended up submerged, in spite of my best efforts to dissuade him from taking the icy dip. This called for pouring the coke and corpus onto the sand.  In lieu of artificial respiration, I blew on him and from a seemingly comatose state, he came to, crawled away, and in time flew away.  I wonder how many watery graves this fellow has escaped.

Screen

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Trapped

Mosquito netting above my head
and tucked securely around my bed.
What person forced to resort to it
hasn’t made  a sport of it
at bedtime, just as they recline,
shut off the lights, and hear the whine
of a mosquito, far then near
directly buzzing in their ear!
Mosquito netting so fine and thin,
both keeps them out and keeps them in.

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I knew if I tried hard enough that I could find my picture of the mosquito–netted bed in my treehouse!  Finally found it in my Facebook photos.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/screen/

Hormigas!!!!

Hormigas!!!

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What are these leaves doing scattered over the terrace just hours after Pasiano swept?  I decide to investigate.

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Aha! The evidence is pretty clear when I find a chewed-up leaf.

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Can you see those razor-sharp incisors about to close around this leaf?

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More leaf-cutter compadres ascend my hibiscus, scouting out fodder for the hundreds of ants who will trek here in darkness to strip the bush and carry it away.

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The team work is so incredible that I hate to interfere, but if I don’t, there will be no foliage surrounding my house by the time I get home in two months.

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As above, the “timberjack” ant saws away on yet another leaf,

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I scatter pellets.

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By tomorrow, all the pellets will be gone, carried away by these bearer ants–and hopefully, the ants will be gone, too.

Hormigas, by the way, is Spanish for Leafcutter Ants. (I didn’t want to give away the answer before the question was asked.) They are fascinating to watch, with their generals and slaves, double machete-weilding lumberjacks dropping pieces of leaves to the bearers below, tinier slave ants carrying many times their own weight, some ESP that causes swarms of ants to appear to help any ant who needs help over an obstacle or out of a hole.  I could watch all day as bush after vine is depleted of leaves and flowers, but then–I’d have no bushes or flowers, so I resort to the little pellets that, carried back to the nest, with luck for me and no luck for the ants, will clear it out.  Cruel nature either way.

http://ceenphotography.com/2016/01/13/prompt-stomp-week-14-challenge-things-that-are-small/

 

Katydid? Just What Did Katy Do?

IMG_6020Two months after my husband’s death in California, I moved to Mexico.  Once there, my days were filled with the completion of my house and the buying of appliances, furniture, and familiarizing myself with the language, processes, mores and customs of Mexico.  Although at first I knew no one in my new country of choice, my life quickly filled with the observation of the strange plants, animals and insects that appeared one by one to claim my wonder.  After 14 years, they still do! This poem was written during my first month in my new house.  As stories do, this story was just repeated in a slightly different version yesterday.  You can find that story HERE, but the poem below is fourteen years old.

Katydid? Just What Did Katy Do?

If you were in a salad or a stir fry, I would have taken you for a pea pod,
crunched you right down with the next forkful.
But instead you stand in bright green relief against the gray trash can lid,
stroking your proboscis with your curious hand shaped like a snake’s tongue.
Your six legs in graduated pairs:  long, longer, longest
bend constantly in 360 degree angles
as each moves in turn to your anemone mouth
which plays each like a piano
trying to stroke music from the keys.
As hand after foot after foot
vanishes into your mouth––
front flap like an apron hanging down––
I wonder if you are perhaps feeding
on nourishment too minuscule for human eyes.

Your broad chest expands and deflates like a bellows.
Praying mantis, grasshopper, leaf-hopper, pea pod––
Whatever it is you most resemble––none have your talent or your wing power.
Your alien protuberant eyes like small yellow beebees.
Now trapped in my jar, you define your glass prison with leg after leg, like a mime.
Colorful strayer from a world of green,
what do you make of this white world of mine?
I have stolen you for a closer look, and for this short hour,
You have enthralled me with your alien looks.
Your mystery.
So much I’ve been told of everything here in this new land strange to me,
each from a different point of view,
that now I feel the need to look at everything more closely for myself.
But you, in a jar, perhaps not knowing you are observed,
farm each foot in turn for something so infinitesimal,
then drum drum the glass.
“What is there?” you seem to ask.
“What is this new world?”
Nothing to nourish you here.
I sit staring in at you.
That artichoke mouth doesn’t look made for singing,
opening like petals of a flower as you put your foot in it.
Like an old man pushing himself backwards
from piece of furniture to piece of furniture,
you limp around the glass on geriatric legs and padded feet.

We move to the terrace,
where I put you down
On the leaf of a geranium
in the crumbling pot up on the wall.
Putting your heels down first,
you test each new leaf for it’s ability to support or give.
Each hand and foot is like a tiny forked penis hanging from green testicles–
the penis one forked finger, mining space
then gripping the leaf, fore and aft as your
anemone mouth
moves over it like a slice of watermelon
held the wrong way––
not side to side like a calendar illustration,
but front to back, even bites
increasing its inside arc.
In five minutes, one-fourth of the leaf is gone.
and you move to another
like a child with a cookie in each hand.
My ink run out, I leave you
And when I come back, you are invisible
against the potted geranium that I have set you down in.
Your mouth like a different insect
reaches tendril arms out for the leaf edge,
takes sharp bites–like a leaf cutter ant.
The white front flap of your mouth
sweeping the diminishing leaf edge like a vacuum cleaner.
One-quarter of the leaf gone in five minutes.
You fly to the tree branch next to me, startling me,
as finally we stand eye-to-eye at the same level.
You stand more clearly defined,
for you are the yellow green of geranium,
not the dark green of this tree.
Here you are more blended in shape than color

As you change your diet––
eating not the leaves, but stems of leaves––
you rock on a hobby horse of legs.
Your chest like bagpipes
expands and releases,
rippling like an air balloon.
Now that so many of your mysteries have been revealed,
I solve your only secret left––
the origin of your song.
You play “Las Mananitas” for your lady,
with your compadres joining for the chorus,
one wing your violin,
the other your bow.
My night newly passionless,
fills with the sounds of yours.

 

To hear Katydids, you can go HERE. And for a fascinating closeup video of what I experienced first hand above, go HERE.

See if you can distinguish “my” katydid from his background in these pictures.

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