Tuesday, September 29, 2009

insects in wind tunnels. neat.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Pink Grasshopper!

Pink grasshopper found in marshes

I saw this article a few weeks ago and thought it was interesting. (And pretty!)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Chevalier Woods (hunting Big-Small Game)

Chevalier Woods is always the place to find a Praying mantis (Chinese or European) in Chicago, and this year is no exception to the rule. A.C. found a lovely one and talked things through a little bit - eyes to eyes - before finally (and somewhat sadly) putting him in a jar...

Large Carpenter Bees where also around and about. With those big eyes, they see you coming. This ones was particularly calm.

Or course, other wildlife abounded as well: from slugs, spiders, and mice to these cute snakes resting underneath pieces of wood.

Under the same piece of wood of the snake was a large ant colony, understandably all hither-tither over the fact we disturbed them, and moving their brood to safety.

J. caught a remarkable looking wasp with a right-orange abdomen.

all together - let's go!

Little juveniles abound on this milkweed....

And though butterflies were few this time, a couple still stood out

A little video of J's waspy find.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo!

The Gene Siskel Film Center recently screened this charming and odd film about the Japanese fascination with insects: Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo. This is a cultural sensibility I can really get behind and feel kindred with, perhaps for obvious reasons. Some of the editing was a little strange and it would have been nice to get a wider spectrum of how insects run through Japanese culture (the TV shows for kids!), but wonderful all the same.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Insects of Montrose Beach!

It was a perfect day for looking around for insects. First trip out for the Insect World class, Fall 09 and we were on the hunt.

M. made a close inspection of the trees and the bark.....

and hit it big with a beetle by baiting it out of a nook with a twig, which the beetle grabbed and she then fished out of the crevice!

J. was the all around champion in catching dragonflies, this one being the first of the day.

Monarch butterflies were also around, it being early fall, after all.

And although we heard plenty of cicadas singing, and even saw a few in higher branches, the closest we actually got to one were the molting shells still left on the tree trunks from late spring...

Some quite unexpected things were found hanging around as well, like this cute bat(!) hanging upside down from the sturdy leaves of a tall, weedy plant. J.S. thought it was a big bug at first - thankfully she didn't get it caught up in her net. An utterly amazing thing to come across.

Grasshoppers were hopping, as would be predicted. I let this one go after letting it smile for the camera.

Caterpillars were woolly and wily and walking around the weeds (milkweeds mainly)

All in all, a very successful first day out....!