Sunday, October 30, 2011

Insecta-Palooza at Sonoma State

Yesterday, I went to an insect fair at Sonoma State. The day started out a bit cold, but it warmed up. Perfect weather!

I learned about how ambrosia beetles made Sudden Oak Death even worse. I met Kathy Biggs, who writes the dragon fly books. I attended a talk by Liam O'brian about Mission Blues. It was a wonderful day.

Frederique Lavoipierre, who organized the event, showed my film, In the Company of Wild Butterflies, and asked me to introduce it. I was honored, of course!

The picture is of a woman who got close up and personal with a walking stick. She said that she is just like a little kid when it comes to insects. I say that people of all ages can enjoy invertebrates. I do!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Mylitta Crescent

It was way too hot today, but I went for a walk at the UC Botanical Garden anyway. I saw several Mylitta Crescents. This one was in some asters near the Asian Pool. It was fighting with a bunch of skippers. I don't know why. Maybe there is not enough nectar for everyone. I also saw some sort of Lady in the rose garden, but it flitted away so quickly that I couldn't identify it.

Lousy pictures, I know! Sometimes I think the cooler days are better because the butterflies sit around waiting to warm up. This one was very active. I was lucky to get any pic at all!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Convergent Lady Beetle--Hippodamia convergens

The ladybugs are converging at the UC Botanical Garden. According to what I have read, they are called convergent because the white lines converge on their head (/\). But they also converge with each other over the winter when there are no aphids to eat. Or maybe they aggregate. Or congregate. Whatever! They are gathering. See if you can find a group. Hint: in the California section. Near the bridge.

Read more about them here:

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Caterpillar Killer Papercraft-number 1

So, I am working on a new papercraft, about things that kill caterpillars, like wasps, dragonflies, birds, pesticides, snakes, disease, etc. Maybe I should call it enemies of caterpillars. I don't know; just because the caterpillars die doesn't mean that is wrong or bad. I think it is good that caterpillars provide food for birds and other insects. But calling them "killers" sounds so violent. Maybe I will have to come up with some different wording. Maybe something about being part of the food web. Or maybe something about population control. If all the caterpillars lived, we would be overrun with caterpillars!

The first iteration is very simple. Just a caterpillar on a leaf with drawings of things that kill caterpillars around the edge.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Termite Nuptial Flight--Again

I wrote about the termites in October of 2009.

They were doing their thing again today. They kept the cat entertained. I suppose she even ate a few. I wonder if they are tasty.....?