Tag Archives: survival

Vespidae | Everyone Has To Eat

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.”


Out the Back Window | Maple Seeds

How I See It

Maple seed propellers are fun. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You probably played with them as a kid. Nature has crafted an exquisite design capable of carrying them far from the tree.

In the center of the top picture, is an American Elm seed wafer. This old elm is tall and healthy on the edge of our property. Each spring, it produces these dime sized seed wafers. I hope each year the wind will blow them away from my house and driveway for the week they are dropping. It seems that 98% of them blow and drift into my garage. The rest get stuck in every nook and cranny where they start growing with the next rains. I am pulling the little sprouts all year.

Nature again has her way of providing for survival.

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Out the Back Window: Survival

We go for walks several times a week. There are often interesting things to note along the way. Sometimes we bring the camera. This time, we are glad we did. Nature is always showing scenes of the struggle for survival. The most fit or adapted will usually succeed. Here are a few examples of this principle.


We had to study this scene up close for a minute before we really grasped what we saw. The half-mouse was strange enough to see. But, the Brown Harvestman feeding on it was an odd sight. It looks like it has eaten half a mouse. Something had killed the mouse and eaten the front half. The Harvestman was an opportunist in the right place at the right time. It was getting some nourishment. By the way, the Brown Harvestman is not a spider and does not have very deadly venom.

I want to see more of this story of survival.