Tag Archives: images of insects

Intriguing Insects: Lens Artist Challenge 174

I am fascinated by the remarkable variety and beauty of insects. Here are a few of the more unusual ones that have visited my garden. Please click on photos to see larger views.

For the Lens Artist Challenge: Follow Your Bliss

The Ants Go Marching Home Again Until They Don’t

Please click to enlarge these photos! I swear you won’t be sorry.

The other day, I went out to inspect the wall that Jose had repaired and painted that day. For the first time in a long time, it was devoid of coverage by plants and accessible–which also made all the wall damage viewable as well. It was as I was inspecting his admirable work on the wall that I suddenly realized why it was so open to view—a solid line of leaf cutter ants moving so rapidly along a bare branch laden with the incisor-chopped pieces of my bougainvillea vine! As usual, I became fascinated by their industry and organization. Met with an obstacle, they simply switched to the bottom of the branch and walked upside down. If a burden proved too heavy, it would be transferred to another ant, or in some cases, it seemed to be a usual thing at a certain point for each ant approaching it to transfer their leaf to an ant approaching them from the opposite direction, as though it was a handoff in a relay race. The conveyor belt of ants proceeded so rapidly that it took perhaps thirty or forty shots to get these few photos, and I must admit that it was with great sadness that I applied the chalk and powdery poison that, carried back to their nest on their feet, would wipe it out.

Understand that I hate killing anything in nature, excluding scorpions and flies, which I pretty much kill without a thought, knowing it is them or me. I don’t kill spiders or caterpillars or crickets or bees or dragonflies or any other insect other than mosquitos, which for good reason in this denge-plagued subtropical region I live in, I have little guilt in killing. But, that said, if I did not destroy the nest of leaf cutter ants, within days I will possibly have no flowers and no leaves on any bush, vine, tree or flower plant on my property. The flower pictured in my last post would never have been photographed. The vines between my house and my neighbors are totally stripped up to a height of perhaps ten feet, our privacy removed. And so yesterday, I staged my latest sortie against the ants.

Later that night I returned to see that the ants were gone. Kukla came along and observed from the stump of a departed tree and it was only after a little walk along my curbside  to collect litter that I noted another line of leaf cutter ants, now moved to the road closest to the curb. Ruthlessly, I drew a chalk circle around an especially large ant carrying a bougainvillea leaf section, knowing he’d have to cross the line and carry the pesticide back to the nest. Then I returned, a bit sad, to the house. Kukla jumped down from her stump and followed. This morning, I found the tiny corpse of a nestling bird on my kitchen door mat, untouched except for one tiny puncture wound on its chest with a pinprick of blood on it. It was the gift or trophy of one of the cats. So sad for that little life too soon ended, I pondered the hypocrisy of mourning lost life according to the age, appearance and size of the departed. Then, rationalization set in. Nature is based upon such carnage, and most of us are part of it, no matter how softhearted we tell ourselves we are.

Your Own Backyard

Click on photos to enlarge and view as slideshow.

Stasis and Flux

Laughter is the flux of life, aiding in the flow

as we face gloomy prospects everywhere we go.
Better just to stay at home and enjoy what we’re given
It does no good to cry about the way our life’s been riven
into “then” and “now.” Whereas the world was once a race,
now we walk on tiptoe, remaining in our place,
observing what is close at hand—the blessings that surround us—
looking for the beauty in the space that lies around us.
Flowers, birds and family. Sunset skies, the trees.
Life may end where it began, here with the birds and bees.

The whole world is a miracle, and we are just a part of it.
Remember, there was no mankind way back at the start of it.
If we pass to oblivion and all our buildings crumble,
nature will go on again, our history just a mumble
that beings of the future will stumble on and wonder
why we chose to pillage and why we chose to plunder
when we could have just sat back to wonder at this world
where everything we ever needed lay securely curled.
Breathe her air, enjoy her fruits, enjoy simple things.
Open your eyes and ears and heart to all that nature brings.

Prompts for today are tiptoe, given, gloomy and flux.

Macro Monday

I’ve been looking for these photos  I took for years. Finally found them on a disk where I stored photos from an old computer. Yay!

Click on photos to enlarge!!!!!

Do you know what this is? If no one guesses, I’ll tell you tomorrow if someone reminds me. Not having a good day memory-wise!! Just got a blank voice message notification from a few minutes ago. I called it and no one answered. Then I realized it was my number! I’d called myself to to to locate my cell phone. Definitely losing it.

Grafted Blooms

 

 

I’ve taken to taking my camera with me into the pool during dragonfly season. I love watching these beautiful creatures and sometimes leave ugly bare branches poking out from above my planters just to attract them.

For Cee’s Flower of the Day.

Virginia Creepers: FOTD, Aug 21, 2020

Yes, the vine is a Virginia Creeper, but it hides creepers of a different variety. They are hornworms–the larvae of the hummingbird moth. Every year around this time they come here to dine on the Virginia Creeper, which would be no problem except for the little round balls of excretions they leave all over my terrace and patio table. We find and relocate them to the spare lot. Since the patterns on the four colors of larvae are the same, I’ve always thought they are stages of coloration of the one caterpillar. The fourth color is vivid green. I’ve done blogs on them before. I can find no mention of this elsewhere, although I have seen the larvae pictured on the internet in all of the colors except red. At the largest stage, they are 3 to 4 inches long.

For Cee’s FOTD