Sunday, May 27, 2012

First Mourning Cloak Of The Season

Just saw the first Mourning Cloak butterfly of the year.
I'm pretty sure it is the first...Normally, I see one or two much earlier in the year than May...I'd have to check my nature journal/notes to be sure.
Anyway, it was cool to watch! It was across the street, fluttering about between the large Rose bushes and what look like Fennel plants. It did spend some time on the "Fennel" plant. But, I was not close enough to see if it may have been ovipositing or what.
And finally, it flew right to me - fluttered in front of me for a second, and headed for our backyard. Very cool.

First Fireflies Of 2012 : )

Well, I just came in from outside. And, I saw the first Firefly of this Summer, across the street; flying near a large Pine. There were probably more out, earlier in the evening; but I happened to be sleeping.
There are also increasing numbers of insects flying under the streetlamps these days...

If weather permits - I'll probably put my Bug Napper out early tomorrow night. We'll see what shows up...

Friday, May 18, 2012

A Rental Home With Well-Balanced Backyard Fauna

...Ahhh...For someone who is fond of insects (and other wildlife). It's so nice to have access to a (rental) home that has a well-balanced selection of backyard critters!
In some ways, I feel like I'm 10 years old again : )

Well, it is the private house rented by my Sister-in-law & Mother-in-law. Conveniently located around the corner from my house. And, so far I've been lucky enough to discover some great picture-taking opportunities.

The funny thing is: I don't even go looking for things - I just notice them, or stumble across them by accident.
I saw this common Jumping Spider, in the corner of my eye. It was just sitting on the concrete wall outside (blending in very nicely, I might add); enjoying the Midge he just caught - Good for him!

I'm afraid the pic isn't very good - And, let's not forget how well he's camouflaged! The coloration & markings on it's abdomen match the house wall perfectly.

I've seen lots of Jumping Spiders recently, in this month of May 2012.

Found The First Solitary Bee Of The Year

I came across the first Solitary Bee of this year. It was near a flower pot (that had only potting soil in it). On the back porch (at my Sister-in-law's house). Well, I went ahead with my usual routine: Capturing it (temporarily) for it's photo shoot : )

It is a Halictus, commonly called a "Sweat Bee"

When it comes to my latest obsession (Bees & Wasps) - I have already amassed a modest library. And this little guy is a fairly common species. Here are just a couple of macro shots I took, while releasing it.

Cute little thing!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Awesome Book On Bees & Wasps

Just an FYI - This is the next book that I'll be ordering, from NHBS (who happen to have the lowest price)

I'll also be ordering the supplement of Revised Flight Tables for this book:

Even though these books were written, and published in the UK (and I live in the US), they are still excellent reference materials. I believe that even the Flight Tables will be of use, to those of us living in the Northeastern US.

I've enjoyed my copy of 'A Lepidopterist's Handbook' by
for many years now. 
I've had my eye on The Hymenopterist's Handbook for quite a while, and I'm just glad that I've finally gotten around to ordering it! Both were published by The Amateur Entomologists' Society
In fact, many of my favorite books on insects, have been published by them.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

"Commercial" Stuff - "Commercializing"

A short post, to cover the topic of "Commercial" Stuff - "Commercializing", etc.

Basically, I never intended to have any Ads at all on any of my blogs. But - An unexpected situation (and opportunity) has presented itself - Something rather unique.
Two of my favorite online shops: Alana Ecology and NHBS, have merged. And, NHBS now offers Bloggers and owners of Websites, the option of adding Links and Ads on their pages - Which allow Bloggers to receive (a small percentage) of any orders placed via their pages.

I've started to place small link buttons in my posts, if I happen to be mentioning a book or product that NHBS has available. So, if you are considering buying something that NHBS carries - Then I would appreciate it, if you would order the item by using the links on my pages. I use the "points earned" to discount my orders with them.

This will be the beginning (and the end) of my involvement with anything "Commercial" or advertising-related. The only reason that I have opted to include Ads on my blogs, is because I am honestly very fond of NHBS, and the unique products that they offer. I believe that they are a very valuable online resource.

Well, I do hope that I've explained it all clearly enough!

(Both naturalist supply houses are now accessible from one Link. In other words, the Alana Ecology site no longer exists; since it's merge with NHBS).

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Identifying Orthopetra (various singing insects)

In addition to detecting bats: I occasionally do enjoy detecting, and attempting to identify Orthopetra (various singing insects). I'm going to try to keep this post as brief as possible. I simply want to share the results of tests I've done; using a few different bat detectors, etc.
For those who are also interested in singing insects, there are two books that I can highly recommend:
The first is 'Guide To Night-Singing Insects Of The Northeast' by John Himmelman.
The second, is called 'The Songs Of Insects' by Lang Elliot and Wil Hershberger. They both cover the Orthoptera of the Northeastern United States.
In the US, they may be found just about anywhere books are sold.

For Readers in the UK & Europe who are interested, they may be purchased from NHBS, by clicking on the links below:

Happy bat (and bug) detecting!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Alert: Butterfly Explosion In Progress!

There is a Butterfly explosion going on right now in our neighborhood! (Bronx) and, probably in your backyard too! It's incredible! Not only Red Admirals, but Commas, Swallowtails, etc. - Take a peek in your backyards! My videos aren't that good, but here's my best one. Was using my Wife's old camera, so quality is crappy. My camera's battery is dead. Well, check out the Red Admirals, all over the place! It's crazy : )