If you haven’t noticed, I have a rather rigid blogging schedule. My Science Sunday plan fell by the wayside a while back as I underestimated the amount of time I would have to spend grading this semester, but I otherwise stick quite firmly to my Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule. Having this schedule helps keep me motivated to blog and it has really worked for me. But recently I’ve been incredibly busy and there are some big changes happening in my life (which I’ll tell you all about soon!) and it’s become a bit of a chore to keep up with my regular blogging schedule. I still love blogging and I still get an enormous rush every time I publish a new post, but now and then I run into a wall where I feel like I have absolutely nothing to say. Today is definitely one of those days. I’ve stared at this screen trying to come up with something to blog about and I’ll be honest – I got nothin’.
So, today I’m doing something I don’t normally do: I’m just letting it go. I’m not going to force it. I’m just going to post a few photos of lovely places I’ve collected/working/bug photographing in the past year or so and call it a day. I’ve already got the month’s Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesdays uploaded and I’ve got a fun Friday 5 planned for this week, so I’ll be right back on schedule after today. But for today you just get some photos. Enjoy!
My favorite place to collect giant water bugs. It’s got an incredibly thick mud layer at the bottom so more than one field assistant has gotten stuck and/or fallen in (I’ve done it several times!), but this place is always cool and beautiful. Mint lines the spring-fed creek and it’s full of watercress, which turns the surface of the water bright, vivid green. A perfect place to spend half a day!
This is the local park where the students in the class I’m teaching this semester go to do their field trip. It’s a lovely bit of native desert land, but there are some interesting people there – and a lot of the kinds of trash you’d really prefer not to see in a park where people bring their kids. Still, I saw some nice bugs and my students loved the trip, so it was a good couple of days!
My wonderful brother-in-law passed away last summer after a long battle with cancer, and I spent quite a lot of time in the Flagstaff area as he neared the end of his life. During any downtime during visits, or when I just needed to get outside for a bit, I headed outside to photograph insects or run errands for my sister. I got this shot during a lovely storm during one of those errand trips. It sort of sums up the emotions I was feeling at the time, so I’m glad I got the shot.
Madera Canyon has always been one of my favorite places to go in southern Arizona, ever since I was a little kid. The water is beautifully clear and cool and there are always friendly people around. There are some special birds there (vermillion flycatcher and elegant trogon, among others) that attract birders and they are generally quite happy to stop by and ask what I’m doing sloshing around in the stream with a soup strainer. :)
If I drive down to the end of my street, this is the view I get. I’m in love with these mountains, the Santa Catalina Mountains. This is also where I found the mantid egg case that hatched recently. There’s a “river” between where I’m standing and the houses. It has water in it approximately two weeks every year, so there are full-blown trees growing in the riverbed. Someday a big flood will rip them all out, but for now they seem to be quite happy living in the river. I don’t blame them!
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