The theme is places and colors. Enjoy!

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Today’s images

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Places

Summer in our garden

I promised I’d put together a gallery of photos taken in our garden last summer (that’d be the summer of 2018 for those of you who’ll be reading this in future years), and here it is.

Get ready to see 347 photos of summertime, taken between June and August of last year. Grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Video Log

The plaster bagworm

We found this tiny little striped bug in South Florida, USA. It had a silken brown cocoon which it dragged behind it. It was a tiny little larva with minuscule legs, and its cocoon had two entrances. It would hide inside, then emerge out of either end to begin moving along.

I’ve never seen a bug like it, and would love to know what it is. Updated 6/4/10: it’s a plaster bagworm, and that wasn’t its cocoon, but its home — and it’s a pest. Thanks Andrew!

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Video Log

The larva of the asian ladybug

We found this strange-looking bug in our garden in Southern Transilvania, Romania. It’s about 1 cm in length, with small hairs that grow out of bumps on its back. It’s got six legs, and it moves fairly fast.

I found out, thanks to beansmail, that it’s the larva of the asian ladybug, also known as Harmonia axyridis.

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Events, Places

Monarch butterflies, mating

We were in the yard a few days ago, when we saw two lovely monarch butterflies engaged in a courtship ritual, on the grass. I recorded a video which you can see below.

Watch video on YouTube | blip.tv

According to science, what I filmed is the ground phase of their mating, and is preceded by an aerial phase, where the male will pursue and nudge the female, until she lands on the ground. He then lands on top of her and flits his wings wildly while he aligns himself alongside her body. Once he does that, he grabs her, and flies with her to a perching spot, where they sit end to end for about 30 minutes, while a spermatophore from the male transfers to the female.

The mating of the monarch butterflies occurs just prior to their re-migration back north. The eggs are not laid by the female until she reaches a suitable location there with plenty of food sources, such as milkweed.

As I write this, I remember that I’ve witnessed another stage of the monarch butterflies’ life when camping in the Shenandoah National Park, in Virginia, in September of 2006. It was there that I saw the caterpillars building their pupa, or chrysalis, and took photos of that.

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