Solitude

I wasn’t able to get this online yesterday, but this is my photo for the Photography 101 theme “solitude:”

Fly on flower

I spent a lot of time on my recent trip to Arizona looking for insects, and happily it was just late enough in the year for a few to be out.  It was also the middle of the bloom, so I spent a lot of time wandering from clump to clump of flowers looking for insects.  This lovely fly was the only insect on a cluster of these fabulous yellow flowers.  It had a huge group of flowers all to itself and I think it exemplifies the idea of solitude.

I believe this is a tachinid fly, but I would welcome any corrections from those of you who know more about flies than I do!  You know who you are. :)

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

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Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Nom Nom Nom

When the plant called rattlesnake master blooms, you can expect to find all sorts of insects coming to it to feed!  I don’t know exactly what it is about this plant that is so incredibly alluring to so many species of insects, but the strange little spiky flower balls can become absolutely covered with bees, ants, wasps, butterflies, moths, beetles, and other insects.  It recently bloomed in my area, so today I bring you a photo of a delta flower scarab and a little bee chowing down on nectar from a rattlesnake master flower cluster:

Delta flower scarab on rattlesnake master

Delta flower scarab on rattlesnake master

The flowers smell awful to me, so I guess you have to be a pollinator to fully appreciate them.

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

Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Crane Flies of Winter

In case you haven’t heard, it’s been SUPER cold in many parts of the US!  We had record low temps in my area a few days ago, so we got hit pretty hard too. Unsurprisingly, the insects have been a wee bit scarce with the cold snap, but these are still going strong:

Crane fly orchid

Crane fly orchid, Tipularia discolor

That’s a crane fly orchid, the closest thing to an actual crane fly I’m likely to see for a while.  They’re awesome plants!  That one leaf pops up in the fall and represents the entire above-ground part of the plant until it disappears in the early spring.  Then in the summer, a tall stalk with 40 or so vaguely crane fly shaped green flowers appears where the leaf used to be.  There are no flowers where there are leaves and no leaves when there are flowers – a pretty funky system!  Even better: the orchid flowers are pollinated by noctuid moths.  When a moth visits a flower, the plant deposits a sticky pollinium (a packet of pollen) on one of the moth’s eyes.  The moth then pollinates other flowers WITH ITS EYEBALL when it finds a new one.  What a crazy bizarre plant!  I enjoy them quite a bit.  Still, I think I’d still prefer to see some insects…

Stay warm everyone!

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

Well-Nigh Wordless Wednesday: Bee on Catkin

I know the world has a ton of bee-on-flower photos, but I really love the flowers of mesquite trees, and bees on the flowers make them extra nice:

Honey Bee on Mesquite Catkin

Honey bee on mesquite catkin

Ah, spring/summer in the desert!  What a glorious experience!  (Well, right up until it gets above 105 degrees outside.  Then it can become decidedly less glorious if you’re working out in the sun.)

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