Friday, June 22, 2012

A Little Drama Among the Flowers

This is a small sampler of the drama we witnessed during a visit to Butterfly Valley Botanical Area on Wednesday.  We were mostly trying to photograph wildflowers, but the whole scene was made more interesting by visiting pollinators, predators of pollinators, and possible some visitors just resting.  The flowering shrub in the top photo is Labrador Tea, one of many members of the Heath family in this area.  The bug drama being played out on it is a Goldenrod Crab Spider sucking the juices out of a butterfly, probably a Checkerspot. Then, I got a few nice photos of the carnivorous Sundew before I got to witness a pair of mating Damselflies landing on the plant and fighting for survival.  They separated from each other and independently fought to free themselves (3rd photo) but couldn't.  After taking a few photos, I carefully freed them and they flew off, apparently undamaged.  Next, a photo of the Red Milkweed Beetle on a leaf of the Showy Milkweed, taken on Chandler Road on our way to Butterfly Valley.  Last, in the bog were many blooming Leopard Lilies and many Western and Pale Swallowtail butterflies feeding on them.  As I said, this is a small sampler of what we saw.  More photos from that trip will be posted over the next few days.   Meanwhile, the culmination of the one-week Feather River Art Camp at Oakland Camp is tomorrow.  There will be a show of art in many different media produced during the week.  The public is invited.  It's from 3:45 to 5:45.  Come on out and see some outstanding work and meet some amazing people. 

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