We returned from a quick trip to the grocery and got into the left turn lane near home. This sign caught our attention. Melanie asked me to turn around and go back so she could take a picture. Bagworm cases were attached around the edges. We hadn’t noticed that before on previous trips. No other signs had them.
The caterpillar larvae of the Psychidae construct cases out of silk and environmental materials such as sand, soil, lichen, or plant materials. These cases are attached to rocks, trees or fences while resting or during their pupa stage, but are otherwise mobile…Wikipedia
Japanese Beetles have eaten many of the leaves on our River Birch this year. They are worse on this tree this year than in the past. The leaves look like skeletons, die, and drop to the ground. It will be good when the beetles have completed this part of their life cycle.
The sun was low in the east as I returned from a morning walk. Dried weed stalks from last year stood 3-4 ft tall between me and the sun. Near the top of many of them were small spider webs about 3-5 inches across. Each was covered with dew drops reflecting the sunlight. They deserved a closer look.
As I peered down for a better look, I wondered if the spider architect was sitting anywhere nearby? I couldn’t see any spider on this one.
Moving to another plant, I got down on one knee and noticed the lower angle of the sunlight caused it to reflect better showing the structure more clearly. It was a tangle of strands. Still no spider was visible.
I bent farther down to look under the web and found the spider hanging upside-down. Very clever of you.
It was just before 1 pm on New Year’s Day. We were talking on the phone to one of our children. Along the edge of the table walked this Asian Lady Beetle. We had seen it on the walls over the recent months when the outdoor temperatures got cold. Here it was again on one of the coldest days of the year.
I spotted these on the trail as I returned from a walk this morning. According to Bugguide, they are Eastern Yellow Jackets Vespula maculifrons. They were feeding on something moist and fleshy I could not identify. It has been exceptionally dry here in eastern Iowa since mid-August. Yellow Jackets are found near anything with moisture.
They didn’t mind that I got within a few centimeters to record some video of their activity. Sort of gruesome. But, as Melanie says “Everyone has to eat.”
From several feet away it looked like a bit of leaf stuck to the window. I got closer and noticed legs and a head. It was only 2 inches long. I hurried for the camera and got these two views looking through the glass to the outside. The purple barberry bush gave a dark background for contrast.