Thursday, June 25, 2009

MAY AND JUNE...4 (SMALL CREATURES)


Whatever you were just thinking while looking at this...is pretty much what I thought when I first saw these. I was shocked when I came upon these, as I walked closer to them (I think with my mouth open in awe!), they all moved at once.....SYNCHRONIZED!! It turns out that they are European Pine Sawfly larvae of a primitive wasp-like insect that prefers Mugho pine and rarely feeds on Ponderosa. Lucky me, these larvae fed on both in my woods. They move branch to branch stripping the tree of its' needles. The larvae raise their heads and tails in a threatening manner to scare off intruders in a synchronized fashion. It has got to be one of the wildest, strangest things I have seen! Fortunately, the birds ate them, but I'm sure I'll have some next year, from fallen larvae. They are the most common sawfly to infest Pines.


My kids always called these...stinky bugs. I have no idea what it is.



A young dragonfly clings to an orange Lily on the woods' edge across the pond. Dragonflies and flowers...it doesn't get much better for me. This was on one of my early morning walks.




A makeshift wooden bridge covers what I call a "sometimes creek". When my daylilies or daisies fall over and onto the bridge, that's where they stay! I like that loose, casual, natural look. Obviously, this flower was meant to be here, because from my kitchen window I snapped this photo of two butterflies sharing this flower.






























Apologies to any guests that have seen and read the post dedicated to my new favorite damsel on my other blog...but, this Ebony Jewelwing damsel is simply a beauty...she deserves another showing. The male is also featured on my damsels and dragons blog. The bodies are brilliant metallic green and blue...and how awesome are those black wings!










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27 comments:

JGH said...

It's always such a treat to come here - never know what you'll find!

How great to see the birds up so close and the bugs, too. Fascinating about the lavae moving in synch! The damsels are gorgeous.

spookydragonfly said...

Hello JGH...Glad you enjoyed the photos. The larvae was something to see, as they flipped all at the same time. Hope you're enjoying summer...thanks for dropping by!

joey said...

It's delightful to see you back in action, Kim! Have missed your stunning photos and posts. Yikes ... a few year ago I witnessed SYNCHRONIZED European Pine Sawfly larvae on the pine in my backyard, thank goodness only once. Happy July!

T and S said...

Beautiful series of images, you seem to have come back with a bang since the last time I visited your blog in May.

In this series, my favorite is the image of the two butterflies on those day lilies.

For some reason, The comment window is not coming up on your earlier post, so let me add my views on those as well.

The images of the juvenile blackbird are amazing, you seem to have fine-tuned your bird photography skills very well.

And on the earlier post, I was stunned to see the image of the hummingbird. Its an amazing shot with incredible details and beautifully composed. Congratulations.

By any chance have you switched to a new camera setup ?...Thomas

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Joey...I'm back, not sure for how long...that depends on this connection. The last couple of blogs that I visited took over eight minutes to load...each. ANYWAYS...After I found these Sawflies on three of my small Pines, I did my research. Supposedly, the tree doesn't suffer long term, unless in the weakened state, it suffers another disease as well. Hopefully, this was a one time event!

spookydragonfly said...

Hello Thomas...Thank you for your very kind comments. It's all about trial and error for me! I'm still using the same Nikon camera.

The Hummingbird and I have a little friendship thing going on! I'm going to post a series of Hummer photos in my next post. As far as the juvenile blackbird, it was quite the treat for me to photograph that young subject.

I'm off for a long overdue visit to you!

Patsi 'Garden Endeavors' said...

Thanks for sharing Kim.
Your pictures and words take me into another world that's so inviting and unique.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Patsi...I'm glad you enjoy some of the everyday little wonders here with me. I hope you're enjoying the summer...it's flying by it seems!

Nutty Gnome said...

I've never seen anything quite like those sawfly larvae - I can't decide whether I like them or not but, on balance, they're probably a bit too primeval for me although they are eerily fascinating!

However, the rest of your photos are just stunning - thank you for sharing them!

Jan (Thanks For 2 Day) said...

Where to start...the hummingbird photo...stunning! The red winged blackbird photos, and the story to go with it...fantastic! The dragonfly tale w/your cats...suspensful, with a happy ending;-) Wow. You really do have nature all around you Kim, how beautiful it all must be. Your camera really does a terrific job...so professional you are w/your talents! Too bad it takes your computer so long to load pages! I think we'd all be leaving comments every day if you posted more often!!

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Nutty Gnome...Well, I can tell you that I don't care for the Sawfly Larvae at all! Fascinating to claim witness to...once! I had to share them, though. I'll have to visit(try to) you and see how your projects are coming along!

Hello Jan...You probably wouldn't believe how many photos I actually have to post...think I'm a bit too obsessive! I see something that moves me and...click...there goes that trigger finger! I keep inching towards giving up blogging. My biggest problem is now getting to other blogs and/or sites. Either they don't load fully or I'm disconnected! Very time consuming! Here I go whining again...thanks for stopping by, Jan!

Anne said...

I just love the lily picture with the two butterflies. I didn't even notice the butterflies until you mentioned them. They just blended right in with the day lily. I hope your enjoying your summer especially with all the beauty that surrounds you!

Gallicissa said...

What a mega post, Kim! It seems you have been having quite a good time exploring the beauty of Wishnik Woods.

It also seems like you are sure to have a new sets of dragon slayers in your pond soon - to add to your woes! I would have caught that bird and feed the cats (may be not)

It is funny how the birds calmed down when you talked to them! I think you have powers of mother nature. Bluebirds also look very smart. I like the neat look of that nest box.

You have every reason to show off that Ebony Jewelwing again! It is such a stunner.

That sawfly larvae pic looks so intriguing. Good pick as the first one to show in this mega post.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Anne...Nice to hear from you again! It's always nice to look out your window and see a little surprise like that. I am enjoying summer here in the woods, this season is moving along way too fast!


Hello Amila...Very strange...one day the Red-Wings all dissappeared, and the noise level drastically went down. The next day, one female returned. I believe I now hear little ones peeping in the cattails. She returned to nest, by herself! No male around whatsoever...which is in stark contrast of the Red-Wing behavior. I have a new breed of "Dragon slayers" lurking among the trees now...a first for me...the Cedar Waxwings. Thanks for stopping by and all of your nice comments, Amila.

mothernaturesgarden said...

It is definitely time for all the insects to proliferate and you have captured them stunningly.
Donna

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Donna...Thank you, I'm sure that you experience all the variety of insects as I do...due to your location as well. I'm off to pay you a visit..or at least try to!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

SD: Your kids are really close on the bug name. It is actually a Stink Bug and can be looked up easily. Loved you butterflies and dragonflies.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Tom...Thanks for the definitive I.D., I will look them up now. I'm still trying to update my other blog to show my Dragonflies of this year. Thanks for stopping by!

MyMaracas said...

Fabulous photos! It is such a joy to see all these wonderful creatures so beautifully captured.

That must have been a very strange feeling, to have all those caterpillars react to you in unison that way. Creepy, too.

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Vicki...Thanks for stopping by, sorry it took a couple of days to post your comment. Hard to believe it is now August, isn't it? Thanks for the nice comments and I hope you're enjoying summer in your woods. I'll try to stop by soon.

spookydragonfly said...

Hello again, Vicki....I just came back from your blog, I attempted to leave a comment, twice, and I lose the page. I'm so very sorry...this has been my most current problem. Loading and commenting on other blogs...not much of a blogging buddy anymore.

ANYHOW...good luck with your lone milkweed! If I were your husband...I'd be very afraid right now! Happy August to you!

Anne said...

Miss you friend!

spookydragonfly said...

Hi Anne...Thanks for popping in! I've been out of blogging mode lately...so many connection problems with visiting others and commenting on others' blogs the past few months. I felt like it was a losing battle. My problems with posting photos have been resolved, at least. I have begun a new path...which I will post about any day here. I hope you've had a great summer!

Gallicissa said...

Knock...knock...

spookydragonfly said...

Who's there?...Hi Amila!

elizabethavedon said...

Amazing nature, amazing post!

spookydragonfly said...

Hello Elizabeth...Thanks for stopping by and the kind comments! I will visit you as well...nature is amazing!