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I was thinking about what to post today, and decided I would share with you some random views that I took of insects. I hope that you enjoy the photos today.

A cricket.

A green cricket

A green cricket

A flame skimmer dragonfly.

Loaded with details

Loaded with details

Green comma butterfly.

The Green Comma

The Green Comma

A swallowtail butterfly.

A White Swallowtail Butterfly

A White Swallowtail Butterfly

EB’s mothra.

Female Ceanothus Silk Moth

Female Ceanothus Silk Moth

Check out the eye on this wasp! Click twice on this photo to see the detail!

The eye of a wasp

The eye of a wasp

A bumblebee.

The Bumblebee

The Bumblebee

A Sierra Foothills native. The tarantula!

Coming at you!

Coming at you!

I hope that you enjoyed the photos today, and thank you for taking the time to drop on by. Be well… ^..^

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In the late summer, early fall, the praying mantis lay their eggs. Over the winter to late spring, they do their thing inside the hard casing and finally emerge. They grace my garden and eat the pesky bugs no one wants on their plants.

Let’s start by checking out a praying mantis egg casing.

Praying mantis egg case

Praying mantis egg case

Weird looking isn’t it? This casing was on the bottom side of one of the branches on my liquid amber tree.

Here is the praying mantis that I discovered, which let me know that they are back!

The praying mantis is back!

The praying mantis is back!

This is a baby and is about the size of a quarter. It will grow to a length of 3-3 1/2 inches long.

This is a baby

This is a baby

Now about the size of a quarter

Now about the size of a quarter

If you look closely at the photos you will see lots of detail. This little guy is watching me. Click on the photo so you can see the pupils in his eyes.

It watches me

It watches me

This one looks funny with its butt up in the air.

Sticking its butt up in the air

Sticking its butt up in the air

Because this is just a baby, it has not yet developed its wings.

You can tell the sex of the mantis by the wings. This next photo shows the typical stance of the praying mantis.

Typical stance of a mantis

Typical stance of a mantis

It has been watching me the entire time I took these photos, and as I try to get closer, it moves away from me.

It moves away

It moves away

I hope that you enjoyed today’s photos. Thanks for dropping by, and have a splendid Saturday. Be well… ^..^

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I took some time the other day to do some work outside the house. We have pea gravel surrounding our house giving us a bit of a pathway and one that will help the house in a fire event. After having work done on the exterior of our home, the gravel needed to be put back to rights. Using a rake, I moved a lot of the rock, but moved most of it as I sat on the ground being limited due to back pain, and lack of feeling in my fingertips. As I got around one side of the house, an orange and white cat came to help. As she walked towards me, my eye was drawn to a brilliant green color. I was face to face with a cricket!

A green cricket

A green cricket

Just like the praying mantis, this little guy watches me. His little black pupil is pointed in my direction!

Watching me

Watching me

I move to take a shot of him from another angle, and the eye is still looking at me!

Still watching me

Still watching me

This insect is an amazing shade of green. Most that we see here are brown. Maybe the color has to do with the surrounding areas turning green from the rain we have recently had.

Amazing shade of green

Amazing shade of green

The critter shifts slightly as I move around shooting photos. His head hangs low.

Hanging his head

Hanging his head

I continued on with my work, leaving the area where the cricket sits undisturbed. A couple of days later, I noticed it was still there and that it had died. I felt that I was very fortunate to be able to capture the photos in this post.

May you have a spectacular Saturday, and remember, be well! ^..^

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This morning I was very lucky to catch new queen ants taking flight! It is called the nuptial flight. The virgin queens meet up with males, mate and then start their own colony somewhere else! As this happens quickly I was lucky to catch these photos!

The queen ants and the males are kept separate in the colony until the time is right weather-wise for them to take off. Once the female is in flight she gives off pheromones that attract the male. Their mating is violent at best, and once he has fertilized the female he dies. She drops her wings and begins a new colony. Here are photos I was able to capture in the flight I saw this morning!

If you click on any of the photos you will notice how colorful the wings are, and you will see better detail!

This mass caught my eye.

Winged ants

Winged ants

More and more emerged!

Emerging from the nest

Emerging from the nest

Look for the arrows in this next photo. They point out the ants just lifting off. They have two wings on each side!

Taking off

Taking off

This next photo shows 12 ants in flight. Can you spot them all? Click on the photo to enlarge and you will see them really well!

Aloft

Aloft

Here is one final shot of more that just emerged from the ground.

More

More

Needless to say, the birds were really happy! When I advanced on the area where these little gals were coming up, birds flew off. Our flycatcher birds were all around me!

Have a terrific Tuesday, and thank you for stopping by! Be well! ^..^

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Every morning I have been checking on the two praying mantis in the yard to see if the praying mantis that I wrote about earlier in the week are still there. Yesterday I discovered the smaller of the two was no longer there. What I found instead was a large brown one! I got some really neat photos of this big guy and wanted to share what this bad boy looks like! Be sure to click on the photos to enlarge them so that you can really see the detail of this beautiful, beneficial insect! Ready?

Hello!

Hello!

All legs!

All legs!

My what big teeth you have!

My what big teeth you have!

Watching

Watching

Beautiful shades of brown!

Beautiful shades of brown!

One final shot…

See you later!

See you later!

Pretty amazing insect, isn’t it?

Enjoy your Saturday! Thank you for taking the time to drop on by! Be well! ^..^

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Ten days ago I did a post called Return of the Mantis. This post featured a praying mantis that had camouflaged itself to match the wood on the side of our house. Yesterday I discovered two other mantis, and these are the normal green that we see! They have made themselves homes where we have had aphid activity, and they are filling up their bellies with these delectable treats! Let’s go check out these amazing insects, shall we?

Can you see that I am green with envy?

I am green with envy!

I am green with envy!

Now, your challenge is to find the praying mantis in these photos!

Can you see me?

Can you see me?

Or me?

Or me?

Of course the praying mantis got its name because it looks like it is praying. What do you think?

Praying

Praying

When I went to shoot the next two photos, each one of them turned to look at me!

Are you looking at me?

Are you looking at me?

Just hanging out!

Just hanging out!

These little guys like to not only hang out upside down…

Upside down

Upside down

…they also like to be on top of the world!

On top of the world!

On top of the world!

I think that this insect is one of the coolest insects that we have here in the foothills! Did I mention that they fly?

Thank you for dropping by today! Have a terrific Tuesday! Be well! ^..^

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Due to the drought, we have not seen as many praying mantis here as we have in the past. While taking a break outside yesterday from sitting inside and housebound, I spied a praying mantis on the flag pole, shakily making its way towards the house. This one was brown! Normally when we see these they are green. So, I was excited to see a large brown one. When I took these photos, and I had a bit of a hard time due to shaking arms due to chemo, I noticed details that one does not see on the green ones. So let’s go check this little foothills insect out, shall we?

Here is the first shot of this amazing little guy that I captured. Notice the segmentation on his rump, and the red coloring on the front leg.

First shot of the mantis

First shot of the mantis

There is dark brown banding on the back and the upper right leg. I have not seen this before on a mantis!

Dark brown patches

Dark brown patches

He has been watching me and actually turns around to really look at me!

He looks back at me!

He looks back at me!

As he moves out his pace is shaky at best. They do this so that they look like their surroundings moving in the breeze. Thing is he is moving along a solid piece of wood!

Moving away

Moving away

One final shot…

Heading for parts unknown

Heading for parts unknown

What a thrill to find this little guy, who was not so little! He measured about 3″ long! The brown coloration is camouflage as he was near wood rather than plants where he would be the color green!

Have a terrific Saturday, and thank you for dropping by today! Be well! ^..^

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My dear friend Amy over at Petals Unfolding just posted a lovely series of macro photos on the bees she found hovering around her lavender. I realized that I forgot about the series of bee photos that I shot recently! We have lovely crepe myrtles in the yard and the trees hum with the activity of the bees every morning. So, I set myself up with the mono-pod and started snapping photos. My challenge was to capture shots while the bees not only moved, but as the wind blew. I took a whole series of photos and these came out the best!

The Honeybee

The Honeybee

Harvesting

Harvesting

Hairy

Hairy

Pollen ball

Pollen ball

One final shot! 🙂

Looking right at me

Looking right at me

Neat – huh? Be sure to check out Amy’s post too! You can get there by clicking HERE!

Have a wonderful Wednesday, and thank you for taking the time to drop by!

Beeeeeee well! ^..^

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Yesterday I discovered when looking at one of the lovely blossoms in my garden something that did not look right. Upon closer examination I discovered a new species of spider that I have not seen here before. This is on the lovely little yellow flowers of a flower that I cannot quite remember the name of due to chemo brain! If it comes to me as I add photos I will let you know the name…So, check out this pretty little spider that is so perfectly camouflaged that it most likely saves its life and provides it with dinner!

I have researched and think that the name of this spider is Misumenoides formosipes. Frightening name but to me it is a beautiful yellow spider on my coreposis! I remembered the name of the flower! Wahoo!

Check this little guy out! Tell me, is it not a beautiful spider?

My first sight of the spider!

My first sight of the spider!

I think this spider is the Misumeoides Formosipes. I am giving this a common name: The Yellow Spider!

Misumenoides formosipe

Misumenoides formosipe

And, here are the other photos I took while this little guy ran away from me!

Does it see me?

Does it see me?

Hanging on to the backside of a leaf

Hanging on to the backside of a leaf

Is that leg a pincher?

Is that leg a pincher?

What an amazing spider, isn’t it? And, as the heat came up today it disappeared. I am really happy that this new spider showed himself to me and that I can share this with you!

This morning I go off for what is hopefully my last chemo treatment. I have to admit that I am not looking forward to this treatment due to the side effects. I am, however, grateful that I do not have it as bad as others, but it is still uncomfortable. I most likely will not be doing any posts for a couple of days.

One of the things that I should mention is that with the chemo treatments I have been having neuropathy in my hands and now in my big toes. Neuropathy is the loss of feeling in the fingers and toes. At least mine is not as bad as it could be. What I have just written took me about an hour to write this post as I have to keep re-typing.

So, I will be on hiatus for a couple of days due to the chemo. I wish you the best and that you be well! Thank you for sticking with me through all of this, and thank you for visiting with me today!

Again — be well! ^..^

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As we sat on our deck enjoying our evening cocktail this huge bug flew in and landed on one of the rose trees. I had my camera in hand and was able to capture this insect. After a bit of research, I was able to identify this as the Whitespotted Sawyer!

Whitespotted Sawyer

Whitespotted Sawyer

They have really long antennae!

Long antennae

Long antennae

This insect lays eggs in dead or dying pine and spruce trees.

Hiding

Hiding

From their markings you can see how hard it would be to see one of these on the bark of a tree!

Whole body shot of the Whitespotted Sawyer

Whole body shot of the Whitespotted Sawyer

Interesting bug – huh?

Well, I am off to chemo and just wanted to get a quick post in. I am not sure if I will feel like doing this for the next couple of days! Stay tuned….

Don’t forget to vote for the critter in this year’s Pretty Feet Contest 2014!

Be well! ^..^

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