Monthly Archives: August 2013

A Morning Drink

An eastern tailed-blue, Cupido comyntas, drinks nectar from the flowers of Canada goldenrod. We have had a long stretch of hot, dry weather and the butterflies are not present in the high numbers that they usually have this time of … Continue reading

Posted in butterflies, eastern tailed-blue | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

The Pond Went Dry (Again)

We have a small pond on our property.  Most years it retains a small amount of water all year long.  Last year, after an extended drought, it went dry.  This year we had ample spring rains, and it filled with … Continue reading

Posted in invertebrates | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Why I Like Thistles

While I wondered around today I noticed that we have a greatly reduced number of thistles this year, as compared to recent years.  Many people spend lots of time and money trying to control the common field thistle, Cirsium discolor, but … Continue reading

Posted in butterflies | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

More Flies a-Lekking

I drove into town today and noticed clouds rising from the flowers in the ditches.  They were clearly visible from 30 or 4o feet away. There must have been thousands of individuals.  The clouds shifted and changed shape slowly. I … Continue reading

Posted in diptera, insects | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Surviver

We have had a prolonged period of unusually dry weather here in Iowa.  It is a drought, really, because it will result in a decrease in crop yield of greater than 10%.  Many of our butterflies, which were starting to … Continue reading

Posted in butterflies, Peck's skipper | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Another Long-legged Fly

I posted a photo of a long-legged fly a few days ago.  Here is another one. I am pretty sure this is another species.  There are reportedly around 1200 species in North America. Look for them on the surface of … Continue reading

Posted in insects | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

This Looks Familiar

I have a couple of field guides to dragonflies and damselflies.  Still, it can be difficult to identify the insects from photographs.  This one looks like a familiar bluet, Enallagma civile. That seems the closest, anyway.  I think this damselfly … Continue reading

Posted in damselflies, insects | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Popping out Babies

Aphids seem to give birth to babies tail end first.  And they don’t just pop out–they seem to dangle from the end of the mother for an extended time.  The legs don’t show up until very late in the process. … Continue reading

Posted in insects | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

More Aphids

I got this photo yesterday of the ragweed with aphids. It is no wonder that gardeners get upset when aphids infest their ornamental plants.  But don’t feel sorry for me.  I have plenty more ragweed. This plant was not infested … Continue reading

Posted in insects | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Trying to Understand Aphids

I know a little about the life cycles of aphids.  I know enough to know I don’t know very much.  I was walking around with my camera today and I came upon about three plants of giant ragweed that were … Continue reading

Posted in insects | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments