Friday, August 13, 2010

Insect Mania

This isn't an insect blog, butterfly blog, or wildlife blog, but as every gardener knows, all these things come with the territory. Yesterday was noteworthy in this respect, for three reasons.  Each of the three insects pictured below were seen by me for the first time ever, here at Our Little Acre:

I took a photo of this Buckeye (Junonia coenia) butterfly yesterday at the Butterfly House in the Smiley Park Children's Garden in Van Wert, OH, while interviewing a special young lady for The Soil Sisters. I told Lily that I'd never seen a Buckeye in my own garden before.

When I returned home from the interview, what do you think was perched on our 'Snofountain' Weeping Cherry tree right by our front door? That's right - a beautiful Buckeye. Camera in the car though and it flew away before I could get a photo of that one.

As I was checking on the Imperial Moth caterpillars in the maple tree behind the house, I noticed this larger beetle hanging on the underside of a leaf. I checked online and it's a Figeater beetle (Cotinis mutabilis) and as I carried it into the house for a photo session, I was amazed at just how strong it was.  It measures about an inch long.

Finally, as I was watering the cucumbers, something caught my eye. I think it was the stripes on its legs, but I found this young Walking Stick (Phasmatodea order) in the cucumber vines on the EarthBox. Fascinating... when they fly, it's like they float. You can't even see their wings.

Never a dull moment in the garden!


Michael said...

I think you've got a thread-legged bug, there. I didn't find out about them, until I was looking up the weird walking stick I found in my garden.... they're much more delicate!

Lona said...

Walking Sticks have to be the strangest looking insects. Amazing. I have yet to spot a Buckeye butterfly around here.I think that is so strange. Maybe it is the case of wrong place wrong time. Have a wonderful weekend.

Priscilla @ Homegrown Delight said...

I'm new to your blog, great garden and photography! I love Butterflies!

Lisa at Greenbow said...

I have always called that big beetle a June bug. When I was a kid we would tie thread onto one of their legs and keep them for a day or so to play with. They would fly around in circles at the end of the thread. I have seen walking sticks in my garden only one time. Buckeyes are yearly visitors. Great photos.

Gail said...

Same bugs here and I love them all.

Have you noticed an unusual amount of insects this year?

Kylee Baumle said...

Michael ~ Michael, I do believe you're right! Thank you! That's what I love about blogging (and Facebook and Twitter). We all learn from each other! Yes, definitely more delicate which is why my husband was amazed that I even saw it. Thanks, too, for the link!

Lona ~ This was the first Buckeye I've ever seen here and I've lived within 15 miles of here my entire life! So they aren't all that plentiful, I don't think. I think they're really pretty.
I hope you have a great weekend, too! :-)

Priscilla ~ Welcome to Our Little Acre! I'm glad you stopped by and left a message. Come back anytime! Thank you for your kind words. :-)

Lisa ~ Thanks, Lisa! We have what we call June bugs, too, but they look like this. They fly around at night and bang into the screens and they're somewhat smaller than this Figeater beetle. That is hilarious what you did with the bugs! (If a bit mean!) Not as bad as what we would do with lightning bugs - draw on the sidewalk with them, make rings on our fingers, etc.

Kylee Baumle said...

Gail ~ I don't know if I've seen an unusual number of insects or not, but I've seen some unusual (to me) insects! This Figeater, for example, seems to be more common to the southwest. Is the "bug" world fascinating?

MyMaracas said...

It's nice to see you appreciating the amazing insects in the world. I especially love that walking stick. Isn't it a wonder how such a fragile looking thing can be alive?

Kylee Baumle said...

MyMaracas ~ Yes! I'm so intrigued by insects. Amazing doesn't seem to be a big enough word for what they do on a daily basis.

Unknown said...

Great photos, Kylee--and congrats on adding a few new things to your list! I haven't seen any walking sticks (or thread-legged bugs) up here, but I used to see them occasionally at my parents' house. They were always fun. :)

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