Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Summer Fulfilled

Yesterday I posted photos of wonderful distractions from my work around the house and predicted there would be more. I was right! On my last trip to the hardware store, I decided to bring my camera and stop by my milkweed spot on Lee Road. I've been monitoring the milkweeds all summer, all five species, and recording all sorts of visiting bugs. I was beginning to wonder if my favorite, the Red Milkweed Beetle would reappear this season in significant numbers. Finally, as I was photographing the Showy Milkweeds near the back of the fairgrounds, quite a number of them appeared. I nearly caught a pair mating (2nd photo), but they separated as I approached. I can't get enough of this beetle. It's gorgeous, and lives its entire life cycle in and on the milkweed.
The last three photos are among my favorite bugs, all caught earlier in the day. The spider, which I haven't identified yet, barely escaped the TSP I was spraying on my back fence. After taking a few photos, I moved her to a safer place. The crab spider on yarrow has been a common sight this summer, but not too many of them have had those great red "racing" stripes. The last photo is of a scene that was quite common this summer. I found the Common Checkered Clerid Beetles on many different flowers, and the Showy Milkweed was one of my favorite landing strips for bugs in general.
Just before dusk, I photographed some Tansy. This set me to thinking about the Compositae. I'll probably have some things to say about that family tomorrow.

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