Sunday, August 14, 2016

Some August Insects

Stilt-legged Fly - Rainieria antennaepes
I like flies. Yes, there are some species that are annoying, gross, and even harmful to humans, but don't write off the whole Dipteran of insects because of this. The out stretched forelegs of this Stilt-legged Fly (family Micropezidae) are thought to imitate the antennae of a wasp. The bands of color on the legs and wings add to the effect. I enjoyed reading this short piece on the Micropezidae "Ten facts about Stilt-legged Flies".
Canada Darner - Aeshna canadensis
The notched strip on the thorax distinguishes this Darner from other similar species in the genus Aeshna.
Giant Ichneumon Wasp - Megarhyssa sp
Little Nymph Underwing Moth - Catocala micronympha

Monday, August 8, 2016

Death of a Snapping Turtle

This past spring a very large Snapping Turtle died in Westwood Lake. The floated right off a frequently used dock for a few days before sinking down into the muck (and sparing anyone visiting the dock some intense odors of decay). I didn't really count, but in a matter of days most of the soft tissue was consumed by scavengers and only the turned over carapace remained visible. In the right sunlight it assumed a somewhat luminous quality. I enjoy staring down into a lake's water and letting my gaze soften a bit so that the perception of depth is lessened and the distinction between reflections on the water's surface and what lies beneath the surface is blurred.