Sunday, September 20, 2015

Insect Hunting

I spent part of today hovering around late summer flowers, looking for the last of summer's insects. 
I saw the lovely bumblebees pictured above. Click to enlarge. 
And a cool scape moth. 
And hoverflies in lots of colors and styles. This one was gleaming in the sun.  
There were a lot of milkweed bug nymphs out today, and a dozen more things that flitted by before I had a chance to photograph them. 
I was walking to another spot when something on the side of a rock landscape  feature caught my eye -- inside that red circle. 

It was this! It's a European paper wasp's nest with two male Polistes dominula wasps on duty.  (At least there were two outside, but I think others were watching from the shadows.) 
Curled orange antennae...  
I flipped this shot. They look like they are coming for me, right? 
Look at that face! 
And I noticed I was not alone. I saw two praying mantises searching the bushes right along with me. This is mantis number one -- waiting to catch an insect to eat. 
And here's mantis number two holding something it caught. It left off eating when I walked over to snap the picture, then it went back to  eating as I backed away. So -- the bushes are still full of insects. Summer is not quite over. 

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