Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Flinging photos: Sierra Nevada lower-montane life in early March

 This appeared at our window last night & I almost had a heart attack:
It's a ceanothus silkmoth (ID thanks to @CrawliesWithCri), 3.5-5 inch wingspan. AMAZING.

Just look at that gorgeous abdomen! So stylish, jeepers.

After taking some photos w/my confused camera (why shooting at night??)
I went back inside & turned off our lights so it would stop being confused by us,
and continue on toward finding a mate, or whatever it would normally do. =)

So, walking in the dark house, smiling quietly,
my husband said, "Welcome to Samantha National Park."

I'm glad he understands. =)

Baby Blue Eyes and Friends

Photographed first baby blue eyes (Nemophila menziesii) on our property this year, March 3rd.

When I uploaded the photo, saw I captured one of
the so tiny (presumed) globular springtails in focus. So cute!
If you scroll back up to the flower photo, can you find the tiny bug?

For amazing shots of all kinds of these cuties,
much clearer, and much closer up,

Truly, his work is superb,
and there's such diverse colors & patterns in these species.
He finds them in leaf piles on the ground. So, so cool.

Love and Death

Just this morning, saw evidence of a spidery romance on our window...
I think it's a female up top, and a male down below.

"So, Bob. How'd the date go last night?"

(no response)


Presumed female looks as innocent as possible...
batting her perty eyelashes.

Dating in the spider world is risky business.

Other Visitors

Teddybears of the insect world, a bee fly appeared recently.
Super hard species to get good photos of--they're very speedy and restless. 

For much better photos:
The subfamily Bombyliinae has lots of the fuzzy types.
Check out this shot--WOW. SO CUTE!

We flung out some birdseed & got lovely visitors, including this spotted towhee (Pipilo maculatus).

The redberry (Rhamnus ilicifolia) is blooming--it's an extremely subtle event.
At least to us. Lots of tiny bugs are floating around it, so for them it's shouting.
Those teensy green blooms are barely discernible to my eyes.
Squinting hard I can pick out the white stigma to know which are open.

Miner's lettuce (Claytonia spp.) is also blooming happily.

 Another fan of the birdseed: a brave western gray squirrel.

 And last, early for Easter, a black-tailed jackrabbit (Lepus californicus) plays peek-a-boo.

Happy spring!



  1. Beautiful moth! We've seen some nice ones since we moved to the west coast, but no great big charismatic ones yet, and I'm particularly missing the Luna Moths that occasionally showed up to our apartment complex in Savannah. It looks like your Ceanothus silkmoth is possible for Oregon, so we'll have to keep our eyes peeled.

    Also awesome is the springtail shot. I had no idea what they looked like up close until we watched David Attenborough's Life in the Undergrowth last weekend, and I just can't believe how adorable-looking they are. I'll be lucky if I can get one to stay still long enough to get my macro on it, but I'll try and try again.

    1. Oh, the luna moth... I've been envious of anyone who gets to see those as long as I've known they existed. WOW. Yes, re: up there in Oregon. If you're on Twitter you might want to follow Christy (@CrawliesWithCri) she tracks moths & posts photos of them & is in Oregon.

      Yes, re: springtails. The cutest things I never knew about. I hope you checked out Ed Phillips' photos--just amazing.

    2. I have to second the adorableness of that springtail. They remind me of Aphie the aphid from A Bug's Life: http://pixar.wikia.com/Aphie. =)

    3. Oh, Maureen, you are DEFINITELY onto something!! Looks SO much like it. =) Thanks for that little treat.


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