Monday, April 24, 2006

Mantis Monday for 4-24-06



This mechanical, robotical praying mantis drawn by my son, Michael, when he was little, may be as close as I come to this week's Illustration Friday. The topic is Robot. To get an idea of the intended size of this mantis, notice that there is a fighter jet caught in its grasp.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Bug Safaris at Green Scene

This past weekend was Green Scene at the arboretum. This is their biggest plant show and sale of the year. They had Bug Safaris running every 30 minutes on both days. I had originally intended to take a bunch of pictures of the whole event, and follow along with one of the other guides' to take pictures of an actual Bug Safari in progress. Unfortunately, I didn't quite accomplish that. I was either busy setting things up, or busy with visitors, or busy leading the safaris. When I had a break, I wanted to just get something to eat and see the vendors' booths. I also spent lots of time just hanging out in our booth, answering visitors' questions and, well, schmoozing. There were lots of people coming in, and it's fun to talk to them.

When I finally had a chance to take some pictures, I felt a little conspicuous taking random candid shots. And then, when I tried to take pictures of the rows of cute little flowering cacti in what used to be my favorite booth, the lady there told me not to. *Humpf* That kind of knocked the wind out of my photographic sails. (...and I was in the doldrums to start with)


Here's our booth in the Childrens Garden. Kim is showing some of our display items to a young visitor.




I did manage to get a few shots in the deciduous woodland, there were lots of box elder bugs running around on the ground in the leaf litter.



I like this shot, even though it's not in very good focus. The little girl has something in her net, and she's obviously having fun!


So is this girl.



There was a booth promoting decollate snails. They had a bowl of them for people to see.



Some potential escapees

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Links of interest

I like when I find other blogs with a special interest in bugs/nature, etc.

This guy specializes in snails and slugs, and knows a great deal about them, but also includes other bugs he encounters, and some interesting thoughts as well: SNAIL'S TALES

Plants, animals, flowers, bugs, and more, in the Tucson, Arizona area: Firefly Forest Blog

Monday, April 17, 2006

Cobweb Spiders

A friend of mine asked if I could identify a spider from her description. I'm pretty sure what she saw was one of these. She said it was really fat, so I'm guessing it was a female. I found this pair a few weeks ago, living under the little step stool in the garage. I relocated them to the doghouse that our dogs never use.


Male



Female

Is this your spider, Kathi?

Mantis Monday for 4-17-06


This is another one of the plastic mantids that I traded for earlier this year: A little orchid mantis in an "action pose." And he's becoming quite the little traveler, because very soon he'll be on his way to Iowa, of all places.

Sayonara, little guy.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Bug hunting in the desert

From our trip to Anza Borrego:



There were lots of ants. Near our motel, I noted 3 different kinds. (Luckily none inside our room!)


These are tiny seeds that some ants had collected. The ants are actually in the picture as well, but I couldn't focus on them because they were running around.






At the trailhead to Palm Canyon, there were bunches of these leaf-footed bugs in the old palm fronds.



I waited several minutes for this beetle to make his way down a steep canyon wall to where I could take his picture.


Apparently, he wasn't interested.



A sand-encrusted spidey hole.



Something, with a diet of predominantly sowbugs, left this behind.




My favorite find of the trip wasn't a bug. It was this baby gecko! He was on the motel property.


If you want to see a bunch of desert scenery from our trip, click here.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Mantis Monday for 4-10-06


This is a notecard. I don't remember where I got it, but it's at least 10 years old.

Friday, April 7, 2006

Desert bugs in love

OK, they're bugs. They can't be in love. But they are definitely a couple!
Desert Bugs

Monday, April 3, 2006

Mantis Monday for 4-3-06


This was an image I saved from one of my first online mantis searches. I made it into a fridge magnet.