Dewy (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

I love a foggy, wet fall morning.  If you’re in the right kind of place, the dew will helps you see hundreds and hundreds of these:

Dewey spiderweb

Dewy mornings are a great reminder of just how very many spiders there are out there in the world.  All those webs represent a great – and essential – service that spiders perform: helping keep insect populations in check.  Regardless of whether you like spiders or not, you need them, so thank a spider next time you see a dewy web!

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth.

Advertisements

Question Mark (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

It’s cooled down a lot in North Carolina recently and we’ve had some chilly days.  The number of insects I see out and about has decreased with the decreasing temperatures, but you can still find some great things on warmer days in sunny patches.  This question mark was one of my favorite recent finds:

Question mark

Question mark

I don’t see a lot of these butterflies in general, so I was surprised – and very happy – to see one this late.  So beautiful!

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth.

Stereotypical Ladybug Behavior (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

You always hear about ladybugs eating aphids, but I’ll be honest: I’ve watched thousands of ladybugs, and I’ve never actually seen one eat an aphid.  Until, that is, I got this photo of a seven-spotted ladybug eating an oleander aphid on common milkweed recently:

Ladybug eating an aphid

Woo!  A ladybug doing what everyone always talks about them doing!  It was an exciting moment for me for some reason.  :)

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth.

Mating Moth Flies (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

Dunno why I’m choosing this one exactly, but I really love moth flies and was thrilled to see a pair of them together:

moth flies mating

Moth flies mating

How cute are these flies?  And they’re making more, which makes me happy.  That means I’ll have plenty more to photograph in the future.  :)

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

A Year of Insects on Instagram (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

Even though I have a lot of social media accounts, I wouldn’t consider myself a huge social media user.  Yes, I realize the irony of broadcasting that statement in a blog post, but it’s true.  I, for example, have a Twitter account and I used to use it a lot, but there’s only so much time in a day and it often doesn’t include Twitter time these days. I do, however, love and make time for Instagram!  Even though the most popular Instagrammers are generally  celebrities or selfie addicts, there are some seriously great photographers on IG too.  I enjoy the social aspect of it, but I honestly couldn’t care less about likes or followers or that each photo gets a hundred comments.  I love looking at the photos people post.  I follow mostly nature photographers, so each day I scroll through all these amazing pictures of things that remind me of just how spectacularly beautiful our world is.  I find inspiration in the photos posted by the people I follow.

Why mention this here on my insect blog?  This year, I’m embarking on a 365 project (well, technically a 366 project since this is a leap year). Each day, I will post one photo of an insect on my Instagram account with a few fun facts related to it. Think of it as a really short daily version of Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday! I invite you to join me on my year-long photo-factoid adventure. If you like the little tidbits I share here on my blog, you will probably like what I’ll be sharing.  You can find me here:

And if any of you are on Instagram, please consider leaving your username in the comments.  I would love to see your photos!

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Obelisk

The end of 2015 is almost here, so I’ve looked back over the year a lot recently.  I’m going to share my “Best of 2015” photos with you all on Friday, but this is one of my favorites for this year:

blue dasher obelisking

Blue dasher obelisking

That’s a blue dasher dragonfly doing a behavior called obelisking, a behavior that helps dragonflies control their temperature.  Because they are exothermic (= their body temps are more or less the same temp as their surroundings, aka they’re “cold-blooded”), insects often have to resort to behaviors to help them regulate their internal body temperatures.  You’ll see many dragonflies in the obelisk position on hot days, pointing the tips of their abdomens directly at the sun.  In this position, a dragonfly can minimize the amount of sun hitting its body and help keep itself a little cooler.  If even that doesn’t work, they’ll start to look for shade and get out of the sun completely.

Just a few more days until the start of 2016!  For those of you in the midwestern US, I hope you stay safe into the new year.  The flooding in your area looks really terrible from afar, so I can only imagine what it’s like firsthand.

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth

Tagging Monarchs (Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday)

Hey everyone!!  I know I’ve been offline for ages, but things are finally slowing down at work enough that I can get back into blogging at least semi-regularly.  It’s been so long since I last posted that I have a massive backlog of photos.  It was hard to choose just one today!  But here’s what I decided to share:

Monarch with tag

Monarch with tag

We tag monarchs for Monarch Watch at work and this was the last one we tagged this year.  I got many people involved in the tagging this year and we had a fun couple of months chasing monarchs around the grounds with nets.  However,  this is serious work too as the tags we put on the wings give monarch researchers an amazing ability to track individual monarchs during their migration and see how many actually make it to Mexico.  I won’t be able to look him up for a while and see how far he got (there’s unfortunately a big lag between when you submit data and when you can see the data for your butterflies on the website), but I hope little UMT 654 makes it to the Mexican mountains!

_______________

Unless otherwise stated, all text, images, and video are copyright © C. L. Goforth